Windows Neptune

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Windows Neptune
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Windows Neptune logo and wordmark.png
Windows Neptune login screen.png
Neptune build 5111 logon screen
Latest preview
5.50.5111 (December 27, 1999; 14 years ago (1999-12-27)) [info]
License Non-disclosure agreement[1]
Kernel type Windows NT
Support status
Never released

Neptune was the codename for a version of Microsoft Windows under development in 1999. It was based on Windows 2000 and was scheduled to be the first consumer version of Windows built on Windows NT code and to replace the Windows 9x series (like XP was).[2]

Neptune largely resembled Windows 2000, but some of the new features introduced such as the firewall, were later integrated into Windows XP as the Windows Firewall. It introduced a logon screen similar to that later used in Windows XP.[1] Neptune also experimented with a new user interface, called Activity Centers, for task-centered operations.[3][4]

In early 2000, Microsoft merged the team working on Neptune with that developing Windows Odyssey, the upgrade to Windows 2000 for business customers. The combined team worked on a new project codenamed Whistler,[5][6] which was released at the end of 2001 as Windows XP.[7][8] In the meantime, Microsoft released another home user DOS-based operating system called Windows Me.[6]

Only one alpha build of Neptune, 5111, was released to testers under a non-disclosure agreement,[1] and later made its way to various beta collectors' sites and virtual museums.[9][10]

In the early roadmap for Neptune's development (shown in the Anti-Trust documents) there were five service packs planned. In the Microsoft Anti-Trust documents, it shows that Neptune was to have a successor named Triton which would be a minor update with very few user interface changes, and service packs were planned for it. Internally, the project's name was capitalized as NepTune,[11] possibly hinting at it being based on Windows NT.


  1. ^ a b c Thurrott, Paul. "Windows XP: The Road to Gold". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  2. ^ "Neptune - the new Windows". ZDNet. July 5, 1999. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  3. ^ Thurrott, Paul. "Activity Centers Preview". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Microsoft Cancels Neptune, Readies 'Whistler'". betanews. January 25, 2000. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft combines Neptune, Odyssey into Whistler". CNN. January 27, 2000. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  6. ^ a b "Microsoft consolidates Windows development efforts". ZDNet. January 25, 2000. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  7. ^ "Windows XP Preview". TweakTown. August 21, 2001. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  8. ^ Christopher Jones (April 2002). "Written Direct Testimony of Christopher Jones". State of New York v. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2006-01-07. 
  9. ^ The Windows that Never Was… at
  10. ^ DigiBarn Screen Shots: Windows XP Neptune Build 5111 DigiBarn Computer Museum
  11. ^ "Platforms Group - Desktop Three-Year Outlook". Microsoft Corporation. February 1998. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 

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