Windows 1.0, 2.0, NT, 4.0, XP, Vista and Windows 7


Well, Windows 6.1

Microsoft is playing a counting game with the next iteration of its proprietary operating system. A counting game designed to make Windows 7 the seventh release of the Windows client. And in this regard, the Redmond
company is in a privileged position as it has complete control over the rules of the counting game. All in order to make a codename, a product number and a brand one and the same: Windows 7. Of course that actually counting product releases will not stop at seven for Windows 7, but Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, presented the company's perspective over the proper way to count Windows clients.

“The very first release of Windows was Windows 1.0, the second was Windows 2.0, the third Windows 3.0,” Nash stated. “Here's where things get a little more complicated. Following Windows 3.0 was Windows NT which was code versioned as Windows 3.1. Then came Windows 95, which was code versioned as Windows 4.0. Then, Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows Millennium each shipped as 4.0.1998, 4.10.2222, and 4.90.3000, respectively. So we're counting all 9x versions as being 4.0.”

Essentially, Windows 95, 98, 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium have all been reduced to Windows 4.0. After Millennium, Microsoft is taking into consideration both Windows XP and Windows Vista as standalone releases associating a product number with each one. The successor of Windows Vista, and the next major Windows release is, in this context, Windows 7. Which, of course, will not actually be Windows 7, but Windows 6.1, as the codebase version of the pre-beta development milestones revealed.

“Windows 2000 code was 5.0 and then we shipped Windows XP as 5.1, even though it was a major release we didn't' want to change code version numbers to maximize application compatibility. That brings us to Windows Vista, which is 6.0. So we see Windows 7 as our next logical significant release and 7th in the family of Windows releases,” Nash added.