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Even Gates Loses Track of the Code-Names

If code-names for future Microsoft products like "Avalon," "Indigo," "Whidbey" and "Springboard" occasionally draw a blank for you, you're in good company.

Even Microsoft's own chief software architect Bill Gates falls behind on the terminology sometimes.

Gates admitted as much during his Office System launch keynote in New York on Tuesday. Demonstrating the new Research Pane functionality for Office programs such as Word, Gates showed how he uses the feature internally at Microsoft to stay up to date.

"Basically, when I'm looking at Microsoft documents internally, I will search for the thing that reminds me what codes and things refer to what product. And so, you know, I don't look like I'm out of date because I don't know what the code names are," Gates joked.

For the record, "Avalon" and "Indigo" are nested code-names that describe features inside "Longhorn," the code-name for the next version of Windows (ETA 2005-2006). Avalon describes APIs for handling graphics and presentation, while Indigo is the next release of the Web services framework.

"Whidbey" is the name for the version of Visual Studio that is supposed to ship alongside "Longhorn." "Springboard" is the code-name for Microsoft's security-related project for hardening existing products such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 through enhancements delivered in service packs. Got all that?

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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