windows-7Naming of Windows Operating Systems comes back full circle with Windows 7.  Windows started with 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, then moved to 95, 98, 2000 then to XP and Vista. However, unlike the first few times, this time the number does not really correspond to the real version no. of Windows (which is actually 6.1). It is just a number.

There have been many theories and speculations on the reasons for the name and yes, I have my theory too (read on). A while back, when Microsoft VP Mike Nash announced that Windows 7 will in fact be the final name, he also justified the decision on why the name was chosen…

“The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity. Over the years, we have taken different approaches to naming Windows.  We’ve used version numbers like Windows 3.11, or dates like Windows 98, or “aspirational” monikers like Windows XP or Windows Vista.  And since we do not ship new versions of Windows every year, using a date did not make sense.  Likewise, coming up with an all-new “aspirational” name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows.”

Perhaps the real reason for the shift in naming convention might be related to pure marketing. Microsoft wants to get the focus away from its “Vista” disaster and position the new operating system as something totally new and different (although it is based on the same code base as Vista which is windows version 6.0). 

So, here is my theory just to add to the naming controversy – the naming is based on numerology – Why?

Because the number “7” is auspicious (its amazing how in a age with almost no communication, God and his messengers from every religion agreed on it). From days of the week, to books (secret seven, seven habits…) to wedding rituals to the number of ingredients used in the popular KFC breading for fried chicken, number 7 has been the key. So perhaps Microsoft believes that 7 holds the key to the success of  their Windows franchise (what with competition from the likes of Google’s Chrome OS and Apple’s Mac).

And guess what, even the launch date for Windows 7 “10-22-2009” adds up to the number 7 (1+0+2+2+2+0+0+9 = 16, 1+6=7). What a coincidence right?

Well, humor apart and whatever the reasons for the naming, Windows 7 seems promising. I have been running the release candidate on one my machines and I should commend Microsoft for getting most of the kinks out of Vista. 7 boots faster, needs less memory (runs perfectly well on my old laptop) and more importantly does not pop-up the annoying warnings that Vista is known for. Windows 7 also eases many of the tasks in the enterprise and comes with some much needed features that CIOs are looking for (from security to maintenance).

All in all, in another 3 weeks, we’ll know how successful 7 will turn out for Microsoft.

Update: Meanwhile, here are some Ads for Windows 7.

An edited version of  the House Party Ad (see original right below) where random beeps are inserted especially for anything related to windows, and in other places making it seem like expletives were used.  It is hilarious…

This is the original version of the above video “Hosting Windows Party”… slightly long and boring

Here are the nicer Ads