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Windows Server Undergoes Name Change—Again

Microsoft announces that it's dropping ".NET" from name of upcoming network operating system family of products as release date looms.

The next Windows network operating system may have a severe identity crisis when released. That’s what happens when your name changes five times.

The latest incarnation is Windows Server 2003. That was changed from its allegedly permanent predecessor, Windows .NET Server 2003.

Microsoft officials weren’t immediately available to comment on the change. Speculation is that the name “.NET” is merely confusing, as Microsoft went through a period where nearly every product either released or in development had the “.NET” moniker attached to it.

In its early development days, Windows Server 2003 went by the code-name “Whistler.” Its first official name was Windows 2002 Server, which was also the name it had for an MCP Magazine cover story in July 2001 (and also gives an indication of the delays the OS has suffered.)

Next came Windows .NET Server, during Microsoft’s “everything must have “.NET” attached to it” phase. The name change to Windows .NET Server 2003 was officially announced Aug. 29. At that time, the company announced in a press release that “During the Release Candidate stage of a product, Microsoft typically takes time to put final finishing touches on the branding and marketing of its products. Clearly, this is in line with naming conventions used in the past and will serve as a versioning identifier.” Whether this newest name change indicates that Microsoft is still unclear about the branding and marketing of its latest OS isn’t known. Windows Server 2003 is scheduled to be released to manufacturing at the end of February, with a predicted general release by the end of April.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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