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07 November 2008 

Windows 7?

In all the excitement over the seemingly functional and impressive new build of Windows 7 (yes, final name) Microsoft showed off last week, has anyone noticed that it's not actually the 7th verision of Windows?  I don't get it....

Win 3.1
Win 95
Win 98
Win XP
Win Vista
Win 7

Feels like Windows 6 to me.  If you plug DOS in front of it all it works, but DOS isn't Windows. Or we could drop 3.1 and add Win 2000 and that would get us there, but if we add 2000 then we have to add Win ME and Win NT, which are just repackaged UIs of the same builds.

After doing some research I've learned much more about Window's history then I ever intended, but I still cannot figure out how the current build should be called Windows 7.

Microsoft numbers their builds of Windows, also called "kernels" with a unique number for each unique kernel.  Different versions of windows can share the same kernel, they just use slight different builds and user interfaces (UI) for each one.  Way back in 1985 MS introduced Windows 1.0, this being the first build of windows.  A few years later they released Windows 2.0, a completely separate piece of code, then a few years later they released Windows 3.0, the third separate build.  It was a little while after that, with version Windows 3.1 that most of us become familiar with the names and systems.

In 1994 Windows NT 4.0 came out, this, the 4th kernel of windows products would be the build that Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows ME would all be built on.  In fact Win 95 was WinNT 4.0, Win 98 was 4.10.1998 and Win ME was 4.90.3000.

Windows version 5.0 came to market under the name Windows 2000, and was followed by Windows 5.1, otherwise known as Windows XP.  The service packs are extensions of that build, but they don't change the version number.

After XP, MS rebuilt the kernel again and the first version of this new build we know as Windows Vista.  Windows Vista is Windows 6.0, service pack 1 for Vista is 6.0.6001.  The key thing here when moving from Windows Vista to Windows 7 is that Windows 7 is still using the sixth version of the Windows kernel, the build number of Windows 7 is in fact Windows 6.1.

I don't think calling Windows 6.1 Windows 7 makes any sense at all.  Unless they are going to change the kernel, but with such complete builds already being shown to developers, that seems ludicriously stupid.  My prediction is that they'll change the name away from Windows 7 to something more in line with the XP/Vista nomenclature.  Or not.... who knows, what do you think?

I think they should fix the bugs in Vista before even thinking about coming out with Windows 7.

I do have Vista, and I like it a lot. I have not had issues recently.

I am really annoyed that my pretty new version of Windows will not be obsolete. That is absurd!

There is nothing wrong with Vista!

Two... this is essentially Windows Vista 1.0, Vista is like the beta.

And also, from what everyone says, this is supposed to be a major step up from previous versions.

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