It is a codename, after all.
Must be a slow news day. But what the heck, let’s beat it to death. Ed?
It struck me that it’s entirely possible, even likely, that the next release of Windows will get a new name before it hits the streets.
Well. It is a codename after all.
Windows Vista was version 6.0, with a new major version number that reflects the big architectural changes that went into it. Windows 7, as dozens of leaked screen shots attest, is version 6.1. This numbering is almost certain to remain in the final product, primarily for the sake of compatibility. If the major version number is incremented to 7.0, many applications written to work with Windows Vista would fail to install, simply because of sloppy version checking.
This is rather faulty reasoning. Microsoft has frequently bumped up the Windows version number artificially. In fact, they have artificially bumped the Windows build number (a different animal entirely, I know) on more recent versions of Windows than the reverse. Regardless, I would argue that not only will the final Windows 7 version number indeed be 7.0, but that it would be extremely simple for Microsoft to seamless fix application compatibility behind the scenes, rendering the second half of that bit above entirely moot.
This whole issue is silly. But since we’re on it, my guess is for Windows 2010, not Windows 2009, if they do in fact go with a year-based name. Microsoft would never name a Windows product for the year before the product comes out after all. And even if it does ship in 2009, it won’t ship early enough in that year to warrant the 2009 tag. But that’s just my opinion.
I also happen to think that Windows 7 is a fine name. And if they do bump up that version number, as I expect, then they should just go with Windows 7.