While we were hoping for a bit of naming intrigue
for the new flavor of Windows, Microsoft has chosen to simply call it Windows 7
. Fair enough, we said, but some netizens are perplexed about where that number came from and, after reading Mike Nash's explanation on the Vista blog, we are too. His numbering scheme goes like this: there were three versions of the original Windows, with NT dubbed 3.1. Then came 95 as version 4, with 98, 98SE, and ME all considered minor updates. 2000 got the next major update to 5, while XP is 5.1, Vista is 6, and this new one is labeled 7. The confusing bit is that it's actually numbered 6.1 internally, a minor version change for the sake of application compatibility. It's still a little early, since the official coming out party isn't until later this month at PDC, but if NT wasn't considered a full step above Windows 3, we're not entirely sure why this should be over Vista. We're also not sure why we care.
[Thanks, Andrews S.]