List of Microsoft codenames

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Microsoft codenames are the codenames given by Microsoft to products it has in development, before these products are given the names by which they appear on store shelves. Many of these products (new versions of Windows in particular) are of major significance to the IT community, and so the terms are often widely used in discussions prior to the official release. Microsoft usually does not announce a final name until shortly before the product is publicly available. It is not uncommon for Microsoft to reuse codenames a few years after a previous usage has been abandoned.

There has been some suggestion that Microsoft may move towards defining the real name of their upcoming products earlier in the product development lifecycle so as to avoid needing product codenames.[1]

Operating systems[edit]

Windows 3.1x and 9x[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Sparta, Winball Windows Plus Windows for Workgroups 3.1 Windows 3.1 (16-bit) with enhanced networking; designed to work particularly well as a client with the new Windows NT. [2][3]
Snowball Windows for Workgroups 3.10 Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Although this release was still 16-bit Windows, it included a 32-bit TCP/IP stack (when running on compatible hardware). Along with Win32s, this was one of the first steps towards moving the Windows desktop to a 32-bit code base. [4]
Chicago Windows 4.0 Windows 95 The 32-bit protected mode kernel of Chicago (Windows 95) was codenamed Cougar and runs on top of Jaguar (Chicago kernel). [5][6]
Detroit Windows 4.1 Windows 95 OSR 2 Named after Detroit, Michigan. A writer for Maximum PC suggested that "Detroit" and other Windows 95-era names were answers to the question posed by Microsoft's "Where do you want to go today?" marketing campaign. [7]
Nashville Windows 96 N/A Cancelled upgrade for Windows 95; sometimes referred to in the press as Windows 96. Codename was reused for Internet Explorer 4.0 and Windows Desktop Update which incorporated many of the technologies planned for Nashville.
Memphis Windows 97, Windows 4.1 Windows 98 [8]
Millennium Windows 4.9 Windows ME ME stands for Millennium Edition. [9]

Windows NT family[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes
Daytona[10] N/A Windows NT 3.5 Named after the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
SUR (Shell Update Release), Cairo[11] N/A Windows NT 4.0 Microsoft originally planned for NT 4.0 to be just a simple "Shell Update Release" to integrate the Windows 95 GUI with Windows NT 3.51's kernel.
Wolfpack[12] N/A Microsoft Cluster Server
Janus[13] N/A Windows 2000 64-bit Windows 2000 itself did not have a codename because, according to Dave Thompson of Windows NT team, "Jim Allchin didn't like codenames".[14]
Impala[15] N/A Windows NT 4.0 Embedded
Neptune Microsoft Neptune[16] Dropped Planned consumer version of Windows 2000, merged with Odyssey to form Whistler.
Odyssey N/A Dropped Planned successor to Windows 2000 for business customers, merged with Neptune to form Whistler.
Whistler N/A Windows XP Named after Whistler, British Columbia, where design retreats were held.
Mantis[15] N/A Windows XP Embedded Named after the Mantis shrimp
Freestyle[17][18] N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition
Harmony[19] N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004
Symphony[20] N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
Emerald[21] N/A Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2
Diamond[21] N/A Windows Media Center Included in Windows Vista
Springboard N/A N/A Set of enhanced security features, included in Windows XP Service Pack 2.[22]
Lonestar[23] N/A Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005
Whistler Server[24] Windows Server 2002,[25]
Windows .NET Server
Windows Server 2003
Bobcat[26] N/A Windows Small Business Server 2003
Eiger, Mönch[27] N/A Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs Mönch included additional features for use on mobile devices.[28]
Longhorn[29][30][31] N/A Windows Vista Went gold (RTM) on 8 of November 2006. Named after the Longhorn Bar in the Whistler-Blackcomb resort; initially planned as an "interim release" between "Whistler" and "Blackcomb" (which was "Vienna" and is now Windows 7).
Q,[32] Quattro[33] N/A Windows Home Server
Vail[34] N/A Windows Home Server 2011
Longhorn Server[35] N/A Windows Server 2008
Cougar[36] N/A Windows Small Business Server 2008
Centro[36] N/A Windows Essential Business Server
Blackcomb Vienna[37] Windows 7[38][39] Blackcomb is named after Blackcomb of Whistler-Blackcomb, BC, Canada. Vienna is the capital of Austria.
Fiji[40] Windows Vista Media Center Feature Pack 2008 Windows Media Center TV Pack 2008
Aurora[41] N/A Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
Quebec[42] N/A Windows Embedded 2011
Windows Server 8[43] N/A Windows Server 2012
Blue[44] N/A Windows 8.1
Threshold[45] N/A Windows 10 Named after a location seen in Halo: Combat Evolved, which Installation O4 orbits near.[46]

Windows CE family[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Pegasus, Alder Windows CE 1.0 Released in November 1996 [47]
Birch Windows CE 2.0 Released in November 1997 [47]
Cedar Windows CE 3.0 Released in April 2000 [47]
Talisker Windows CE .NET Windows CE 4.0 Released in January 2002 [47]
Jameson Windows CE 4.1 Released in June 2002 [48]
McKendric Windows CE 4.2 Released in April 2003 [48]
Macallan Windows CE 5.0 Released in August 2004 [47]
Yamazaki Windows CE 6.0 Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Released in September 2006 [47][48]
Chelan Windows Embedded CE 7 Windows Embedded Compact 7 [49]

Windows Phone[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Photon Windows Mobile 7, Windows Phone 7 Series Windows Phone 7
Mango Windows Phone 7.5 [50]
Apollo Windows Phone 8
Blue Windows Phone 8.1


Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Midori TBA A managed code operating system being developed by Microsoft with joint effort of Microsoft Research. [51][52]
Red Dog Windows Cloud, Windows Azure Microsoft Azure Microsoft cloud services platform [53]
Singularity Singularity Experimental operating system based on the Microsoft .NET platform, using software-based type safety as a replacement for hardware-based memory protection. [54]
Tahiti N/A Supposedly a family of multi-core technologies including an operating system, applications and development tools designed to make better use of today's multi-core CPUs. Midori may be a part of this suite of new Microsoft technologies. [55]
Zurich .NET Services Part of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform, that focuses on extended software development based on .NET Framework to the cloud. [53][56][57]

OS components[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Code Integrity Rooting Secure Startup BitLocker A security feature that checks and validates the integrity of Windows boot and system components. [58][59]
Continuum Tablet Mode TBA A Windows 10 feature that enables hybrid devices to switch between tablet mode and desktop mode. An immediately manifest effect is the Start screen getting maximized in tablet mode. [60]
Cornerstone Secure Startup BitLocker Full disk encryption feature introduced in Windows Vista and present in subsequent versions that utilizes the Trusted Platform Module to perform integrity checking prior to operating system startup. [58][61]
Cortana Cortana Named after an artificial intelligence character in Halo [62]
Darwin Microsoft Installer Windows Installer A Windows service and application programming interface for installing software on computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems [63]
Frosting Windows 95 codename Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 [64]
Hydra Terminal Services, Windows Terminal Server Terminal Server adds "multiheading" support to Windows (the ability to run multiple instances of the graphics subsystem), and the hydra is a mythological monster with multiple heads. [65]
Jupiter Windows Runtime A new application framework on Windows 8 used to create cross-platform "immersive" apps. [66]
Monad MSH, Microsoft Shell Windows PowerShell "Monads", according to philosopher Gottfried Leibniz's monadology, are the ultimate elements of the universe, individual percipient beings, and MSH is similarly composed of small, individual modules the user puts in interrelation. [67]
Morro Microsoft Security Essentials MSE was codenamed after the Morro de São Paulo beach in Brazil. [68][69]
O'Hare Internet Explorer 1 Internet Explorer 1, first shipped in Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95: The codename O'Hare ties into the Chicago codename for Windows 95: O'Hare International Airport is the largest airport in the city of Chicago, Illinois — in Microsoft's words, "a point of departure to distant places from Chicago". [70]
Pinball High Performance File System (HPFS) "Pinball" is the nickname (as opposed to a codename) for HPFS because HPFS driver in Windows NT 3.5 is called PINBALL.SYS. [71][72][73]
Protogon ReFS The successor of NTFS [74]
Spartan Web browser for Windows 10 that does away with MSHTML rendering engine. Refers to Spartans in Halo. [75]
Viridian Hyper-V Virtualization update for Windows Server 2008 [76]
WinFS N/A A cancelled data storage and management system project based on relational databases, first demonstrated in 2003 as an advanced storage subsystem for the Microsoft Windows, designed for persistence and management of structured, semi-structured as well as unstructured data. [77][78]

Microsoft Servers[edit]

SQL Server family[edit]

Codename Final name Notes
SQLNT SQL Server 4.21
SQL95 SQL Server 6.0
Hydra SQL Server 6.5
Sphinx[79] SQL Server 7.0
Plato[80] Olap Services 7.0 This was the first release of Microsoft Analysis Services
Shiloh SQL Server 2000 (Version 8)
Rosetta SQL Server 2000 (code name of SQL Server Reporting Services which first released in 2004)
Yukon SQL Server 2005[81] (Version 9)
Picasso SQL Server 2005 (Version 9 - the code name for SQL Server Analysis Services in this release)
Katmai / Akadia SQL Server 2008[81][82] (Version 10)
Kilimanjaro SQL Server 2008R2 (Version 10.5)
Blue SQL Report Designer 2.0[83] This is the stand-alone release of the tool for SQL Server Reporting Services.
Denali[84][85] SQL Server 2012[86] (Version 11)
Juneau[87] SQL Server Data Tools Will be included in the next CTP of SQL Server "Denali"
Crescent[88] Power View A data visualisation tool that will be included in SQL Server "Denali"
Hekaton SQL Server In-Memory OLTP In-memory database engine built into SQL Server 2014[89]


Codename Final name Ref
Hermes Microsoft System Management Server 1.0 [90]
Catapult Microsoft Proxy Server 1.0 [91]
Geneva Active Directory Federation Services [92]
Falcon Microsoft Message Queue Server [93]
Viper Microsoft Transaction Server [94]
Stirling Microsoft Forefront Protection Suite [95]

Developers tools[edit]

Visual Studio family[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Thunder Visual Basic 1.0 The first version of Visual Basic. The standard dialogs and controls created by the Visual Basic runtime library all have "Thunder" as a prefix of their internal type names (for example, buttons are internally known as ThunderCommandButton). [96]
Zamboni Microsoft Visual C++ 4.1 After Zamboni, an ice resurfacing machine. [96]
Boston Microsoft Visual Studio 97 Named for Boston, Massachusetts [97]
Aspen Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 Named after the popular ski destination Aspen, Colorado [98]
Cassini Web Server ASP.NET Development Server The lightweight local Web server that is launched in Visual Studio in order to test Web projects [99]
Hatteras Visual Studio Team System's Source Control System N/A Named after the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina [100]
Ocracoke Visual Studio Team System load testing suite N/A Named after the Ocracoke Island Lighthouse on Ocracoke Island, also in North Carolina [100]
Currituck Team Foundation Work Item Tracking N/A Named after the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, North Carolina [100]
Bodie Team Foundation Server SDK N/A Named after the Bodie Island Lighthouse in North Carolina [100]
Tuscany Online version of Visual Studio. Currently a research project [101]
Phoenix N/A A Microsoft research software development kit [102]
Eaglestone Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere This is the name given to the Teamprise suite Microsoft acquired. The product is now named Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere [103][104]
KittyHawk Visual Studio LightSwitch RAD tool aimed at non-programmers [105]
Rainier Visual Studio .NET (2002) Named for Mount Rainier, a volcanic mountain peak visible from the Seattle area (where Microsoft is based) [106]
Everett Visual Studio .NET 2003 Named after the town Everett, Washington in Washington state [106][107][108]
Whidbey[108] Visual Studio 2005 Named after Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound[106][107]
Orcas Visual Studio 2008 Named after Orcas Island in the Puget Sound [106][107][108]
Camano Microsoft Test and Lab Manager Microsoft Test Manager, a part of Visual Studio 2010 Test Professional, Premium and Ultimate editions Named after Camano Island in the Puget Sound [109][110][111]
Rosario Visual Studio Ultimate 2010 (formerly Team System or Team Suite) [112]
Cider N/A Visual Studio designer for building Windows Presentation Foundation applications, meant to be used by application developers [113]

.NET Framework family[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Lightning, Project 42 Next Generation Windows Services Microsoft .NET v1.0 Project Lightning was the original codename for the Common Language Runtime in 1997. The team was based in building 42, hence Project 42. "Next Generation Windows Services" appeared in the earliest press releases about the upcoming platform. [114][115][116]
Roslyn Next Generation C# compiler Unspecified, speculative to Microsoft .NET v5 or .NET v6 compiler Roslyn is the next generation of design guidelines for developer tools, which is often highlighted by a C# compiler being written in C# (currently it is C++) and being offered as a service. This would enable scenarios like C# having its own version of the JavaScript eval command ultimately leading to meta-programming. Mono has had a similar feature since early on its life. [117][118][119][120][121]
Project 7 N/A Codename for early .net academic recruiting program. 7 was a prime factor of 42.[122]
Astoria WCF Data Services Enables the creation and consumption of OData services for the web [123]
Fusion N/A .NET Framework subsystem for locating and loading assemblies, including GAC management [124][125]
Atlas ASP.NET AJAX An implementation for ASP.NET of Ajax native to .NET Framework 2.0 [126]
Avalon Windows Presentation Foundation Graphical subsystem released as part of .NET Framework 3.0 [127]
Indigo Windows Communication Foundation An application programming interface (API) in .NET Framework for building connected, service-oriented applications [128]

Silverlight family[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Jolt Silverlight 1.0 [citation needed]
Paxos Silverlight 1.1 [citation needed]


Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Clarity Language Integrated Query (LINQ) LINQ Language extensions to expose query syntax natively to languages such as Visual Basic .NET and C# [citation needed]
D M Modelling language [citation needed]
Jakarta Visual J++ [citation needed]
Metro Microsoft Design language A typography-based design language [citation needed]

Runtime libraries[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Godot Microsoft Layer for Unicode Named after the play Waiting for Godot (centered around the endless wait for a man named "Godot" who never comes), because it was felt to be long overdue. [129]
Omega JET Engine ISAM database engine used in Microsoft Access (a desktop database management system) and made available as a generic database access API [citation needed]
Jasper N/A Jasper provides a data programming interface for rapid application development. When a Jasper program runs, Jasper connects to the database, determines the database schema, and generates corresponding data classes. This generation step does not occur in source files; rather, the data classes are compiled in memory and are only available for use within the running program. [citation needed]
Volta N/A A developer toolset for building multi-tier web applications [130]

Gaming hardware[edit]

Codename Preliminary name(s) Final name Notes Ref
DirectX Box DirectX Box Xbox The original codename for the Xbox. [131]
Natal Project Natal Kinect Motion sensitive control system. [132][133]
Xenon Xbox 2 Xbox 360 [134]
Durango Xbox One Successor to Xbox 360 [135]

Office software[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Albany Microsoft Equipt Microsoft's all-in-one, subscription-based service for office, communication, and security software [136]
Bandit Schedule+ 1.0 Microsoft's first Personal Information Manager [citation needed]
Budapest Microsoft Office Communicator Web Access 2005 [citation needed]
Bullet Microsoft Mail 3.0 Microsoft's first LAN-based email product written in-house [citation needed]
Cirrus Microsoft Access 1.0 [citation needed]
CRM V1.0, Tsunami Microsoft CRM version 1.0 The platform was initially codenamed Tsunami, but once the decision was made to make it an actual product it was just changed to the initials as the initials were enough of a codename. [137]
Danube Phase I Microsoft CRM version 1.2 [137]
Danube Phase II Microsoft CRM version 3 [137]
Deco Microsoft PhotoDraw [citation needed]
Greenwich Real-Time Communications Server 2003 Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003 [citation needed]
Istanbul Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 [citation needed]
Maestro Microsoft Office Business Scorecard Manager 2005 [citation needed]
Opus Word for Windows v1.0 for Windows 2.x [citation needed]
Oslo Microsoft BizTalk Server SOA, SQL Server Modeling CTP N/A Set of Service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies [138][139][140]
Tahiti Microsoft SharedView N/A A screen sharing tool which allows users to take over sessions and interact with remote desktops. No audio or conference facilities. [141][142]
Tahoe Sharepoint Portal Server 2001 [citation needed]
Kilimanjaro Titan Microsoft CRM version 4 Was originally Kilimanjaro but changed to Titan, as Kilimanjaro was too difficult to spell [137]
Utopia Microsoft Bob Intended to be a user-friendly GUI [143]
Ren, Stimpy Wren Microsoft Outlook "Stimpy" was merged into "Ren", which was later became "Wren". "Ren" and "Stimpy" are references to Ren and Stimpy, characters of an American animated television series. "Wren", a homophone of "Ren", is a reference to Christopher Wren, the architect of St Paul's Cathedral. [144]

Other codenames[edit]

Codename Preliminary name Final name Notes Ref
Acropolis N/A Application framework for Smart Clients [citation needed]
Aero Diamond N/A Used during the development of Windows Vista to describe a set of advanced user interface effects for the Desktop Window Manager to be introduced after Vista's release [145]
Alexandria Zune Marketplace An online music store [citation needed]
Argo Zune A digital media player [citation needed]
Atlanta N/A A cloud service that monitors Microsoft SQL Server deployments [146]
Blackbird N/A An online content-authoring platform centered around the concept of distributed Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) and meant to be an alternative to HTML. The developer tools were originally released in beta and some titles were made available on MSDN before it was scrapped in favor of web development around ASP and ActiveX and the designer was refashioned into Visual InterDev. [citation needed]
Concur N/A Aims to: define higher-level abstractions (above "threads and locks"); for today's imperative languages; that evenly support the range of concurrency granularities; to let developers write correct and efficient concurrent applications; with lots of latent parallelism; that can be efficiently mapped to the user's. [citation needed]
Dallas N/A Aims to help discover, purchase and manage, premium data subscriptions in the Windows Azure platform [147]
Dorado Zune PC Client [citation needed]
Dryad N/A A Microsoft Research project which aims to design a platform to make developing applications for large-scale distributed computing easier. [citation needed]
Kumo Bing Microsoft's set of features improving Live Search search engine [citation needed]
Marvel The Microsoft Network The classic version of MSN, originally as a proprietary, "walled garden" online service [citation needed]
Media2Go Windows Mobile software for Portable Media Centers Platform built on Windows Mobile found on portable media players [148][149]
Metro XML Paper Specification (XPS) [citation needed]
Milan Surface Microsoft PixelSense Table-top style computer with multi-touch touchscreen interface [citation needed]
Mira N/A Windows CE .NET-based technology for smart displays [150][151]
Monaco N/A Music-making program similar to Apple GarageBand application [citation needed]
Origami Ultra-Mobile PC [citation needed]
Palladium Trusted Windows N/A Effort to develop a small, very secure operating environment within Windows, including curtained memory, trusted input, and graphics. Project renamed to Next-Generation Secure Computing Base, and was never fully implemented. [152][153]
Softsled N/A Software based Windows Media Center Extender[clarification needed Is it "software-based" or "software based on"?] [citation needed]
Springfield Microsoft Popfly N/A Website in Alpha testing stage providing mashup and webpages creation tools, with publishing as Rich Internet Application option [154]
Wolverine TCP/IP stack for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Named after the Wolverine, a character from Marvel Comics. [citation needed]


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]