There was a time when codenames reigned supreme at Microsoft. A time when the future versions of the Windows platform in the development process were referred to with resonating labels. A time when the practice of associating products under development with codenames had established itself as a tradition, an integer part of the Microsoft culture. This was, of course, before Windows Vista. When Whistler and Blackcomb were not just two sky resorts in British Columbia, and when Longhorn was not just a watering hole between the two mountains. When Windows Vienna was actually the successor of Windows Vista, and the next iteration of Windows.
Steven Sinofsky brought the death of Windows codenames, when he transitioned from the Office project to building Microsoft’s platform. As the senior vice president for the Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group — the user experience of Microsoft Windows and Windows Live services, Sinofsky is responsible for overseeing the evolution of Vista, as well as the development of Windows 7, Internet Explorer and Windows Live products and services. Coming from Office, Sinofsky also imported the practice of labeling projects under development in accordance with their product number. Office 2007 for example was Office 12, the next version of Office will be Office 14, yes, Microsoft will skip a beat and the unlucky 13. In the same manner, as Windows Vista was number 6, its successor will be number 7 – Windows 7.
However, there are still glimpses of Whistler and Blackcomb surviving over at Microsoft, as the Live Search team illustrated. “With the winter in full swing, we’re excited to announce snow reports for skiers and snowboarders! Search for any ski resort in the United States or Canada to get conditions before you head to the mountain. Links to the resort’s site and a link to a map are also shown. Of course, we have to be careful about showing conditions only when they’re relevant. For example, most people may not think of skiing when they search for blackjack, even though that’s the name of a mountain in Michigan. In this case we don’t show snow conditions unless you specifically ask for them. Either Blackjack snow report or current conditions at blackjack does the trick. We also don’t show conditions if they haven’t been updated by the resort in the past 24 hours,” revealed a member of the Live Search team.
Microsoft, Research, Codename, Codenamed, Whistler, Blackcomb, Longhorn, Microsoft Research