The question why the next iteration of the Windows operating system will be called Windows 7 is highly discussed among the technical inclined. The last days saw several posts pop up at various news sites like Cnet or DownloadSquad which all cited a post by Microsoft’s own Mike Nash who tried to explain why Microsoft is calling the next Windows operating system Windows 7.
Several theories circulated on various sites about the 7 in the name. Some suggested that it was the version number of the code used while others said it was because of the beauty of the figure. All of these speculations were far from the truth which is much simpler. Take a look at the table and find out how Microsoft came up with the 7.
Windows 1 (Windows 1)
Windows 2 (Windows 2)
Windows 3 (Windows 3, Windows NT)
Windows 4 (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows ME)
Windows 5 (Windows 2000, Windows XP)
Windows 6 (Windows Vista)
Windows 7 (Windows 7)
Windows 7 is the “next logical significant release [after Windows Vista] and 7th in the family of Windows releases” and that is how the 7 was picked for the new operating system. Mike Nash did not fail to put an end to the speculation that Windows 7 would be a minor release because of the 6.1 codebase which some users argued who would consider a 7.0 codebase a major release:
Windows 7 is a significant and evolutionary advancement of the client operating system. It is in every way a major effort in design, engineering and innovation. The only thing to read into the code versioning is that we are absolutely committed to making sure application compatibility is optimized for our customers.