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Q&A: The Naming of Windows Vista
Posted on 18-Aug-2005 09:30 by M Freitas | Filed under: Articles

Q&A: The Naming of Windows Vista
The client version of Microsoft Windows code name "Longhorn" is now Windows Vista. The new OS is currently undergoing a beta stage mainly aimed at developers and device designers.

Thanks to our participation in The Hive, Geekzone had an exclusive interview with John B. Williams, General Manager of Windows Communications, to find out how Windows Vista got its name and what it will mean for end users.

What does Windows Vista mean?
I tend to answer it with a very short narrative. Today, we live in a world of "more" -- more information, more ways to communicate, more things to do, more opportunities -- and the same time, more responsibilities. Increasingly, we all turn to our PCs to help us with that. And inherently, when I do that, I turn to Windows.

At the end of the day, what I'm after is to break through all the clutter to focus on what I want to focus on, what I need to do. What you're trying to get to is your own personal Vista -- whether that is trying to organize photos, or trying to find a file or trying to collaborate with a number of people electronically.

That's the role that Windows has always played -- empowering people to use technology to do and accomplish what they want. But the world has evolved, and there's a lot more out there. So we need to make some investments and make sure that we continue to play that role.

We've also created a product that is visually very powerful and beautiful, and that combination is what led us to the notion of our job, and what this product delivers, is your own personal Vista.

Can you drill down a little on Windows Vista’s areas of innovation?
Part of coming up with the name was to make sure that we reflected that the product actually does. There are three main aspects of innovation within Windows Vista:

Give people confidence in the security and reliability of their PC and their ability to get the most out of it. A lot of the investments we’re making are in the fundamentals. We want to build customer confidence by including important advances in security, deployment, manageability and performance.

Second, we want Windows Vista to seamlessly connect to the information, people, and devices people use most and this has to be done quickly and in a really straightforward way. No computer sits alone anymore -- we're connected to the Web, to devices, to people and to networks, so connecting is another huge part.

The other key aspect of Windows Vista is that we wanted to provide clear ways to organize and use your information to focus on what matters to you. So instead of making you adapt to the way the computer structures data, it's far more dynamic, far more personal.

How many other potential names were considered?
We started the initial brainstorms and came up with something like a thousand names. We went through several series of research, several series of reviews and worked across a number of teams to come down to a tighter and tighter list. Through all this, we came up with a solid final candidate.

How are you feeling right now?
I'm totally psyched about the name. I think it's a great opportunity for us to have a name that reflects that wonderful intersection of what the product really does, what Windows stands for, and what resonates with customers, and their needs. I know that sounds like a marketing response but that's really how I feel.

Thanks John
Thanks for your time!

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