For the first time in recent memory, Microsoft has chosen to stick with its code name for a final Windows release.
In a blog posting, general manager Mike Nash said that the next version of Windows will retain its Windows 7 code-name when it is released to the market--a date currently pegged as late 2009 or early 2010.
"Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore "Windows 7" just makes sense," Nash wrote.
Microsoft plans to give developers at the Professional Developer Conference later this month a pre-beta version of the software.
"For me, one of the most exciting times in the release of a new product is right before we show it to the world for the first time," Nash wrote. "In a few weeks we are going to be talking about the details of this release at the PDC and at WinHEC. We will be sharing a pre-beta 'developer only release' with attendees of both shows and giving them the first broad in-depth look at what we've been up to."
Nash said the decision to stick with the Windows 7 name is "about simplicity."
"Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows," Nash wrote. "We've used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or 'aspirational' monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista. And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense. Likewise, coming up with an all-new 'aspirational' name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows."
Microsoft has said precious little about what's actually in Windows 7. In a May interview, engineering chief Steven Sinofsky said it would use the same driver structure and underpinnings as Vista. The software maker has also talked about its multitouch capability.