Mary Jo Foley is currently doing a series of blog articles every day in December where she writes about a codename for an upcoming (or rumored about) Microsoft product. My plan is to distill her articles into this posting with the most interesting facts, which will be updated once a week or so as she adds more codenames to the list. It will be interesting to see a year from now which projects made it into a final product.
Update: The article series is now done and this posting is complete.
While codenames have been used for all kinds of products for many years, the growing trend of giving a broad range of people access to preview and beta versions of new software products has significantly increased the popularity of some codenames. Not many people associate Chicago with Windows 95, but a lot of people know that Longhorn became Windows Vista. For a more comprehensive list of Microsoft code names see this WikiPedia article.
The next version of the Windows Live Family Safety Center service. The exact nature of this product is not clear at this point, but it seems be the next version of a parental controls service and possibly a bridge between the parental controls features in Windows Vista and Windows Live OneCare Family Safety.
This is Microsoft's attempt to play catch-up with automatic document generation tools that have been around for a while. What Javadoc did for the Java community found a pendant in the .NET world in form of NDoc. Because of lacking financial support from the development community the NDoc project has pretty much been declared dead. Enter Sandcastle, Microsoft's MSDN-style documentation generator. The November CTP release of Sandcastle is available for you to try, and the Microsoft Sandcastle web site has some more information on available plugins and demos.
With the business launch of the 2007 Office System for Windows on November 30, 2006, there is one more office product left in need for an update: Office for Mac. Magnesium is the code name for the next Office version following the current Office 2004 for Mac. The new version will bring it up to par with its Windows counterpart and support the new Open XML file formats and other new features. Expected release in Q2/Q3 2007 (I guess the later one).
Cider is a visual designer for the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), the new Windows graphics subsystem. While the new Microsoft Expression products approach WPF design from the designer perspective, Cider targets the developer and will most likely be integrated or working close together with the next version of Visual Studio.
It seems like there are two different Crossbow projects at Microsoft. The better known Crossbow is the next version of Windows Mobile, most likely to be released as Windows Mobile 6.0 by the end of 2006. The other Crossbow is a project designed to bridge Windows Forms (WinForms) and the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) Windows graphics subsystem. However, the status of that project is unknown at the moment.
Fiji is rumored to be the code name for the next version of Windows, so basically it will be the new "Longhorn". However, since Microsoft has been known for making drastic changes to upcoming operating system schedules and versions Fiji could also be the code name for Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 or for a bigger update such as a Vista R2 like they did with Windows Server 2003 R2. There is another Windows Version code named Blackcomb which was apparently supposed to come out before Longhorn, but it was then postponed and allegedly renamed to Vienna, which again is rumored to be Windows version following Fiji.
Not much is known about this one, except that it might be some small-business communication product, either as a software or a service (or both). Microsoft has slowly been making progress in the small business market with products such as Windows Small Business Server or Office Accounting Express 2007, and Edinburgh might be the next step into that direction.
A Microsoft-developed music-making program similar to Apple's GarageBand that will be optimized to take advantage of Windows Vista. Perhaps Monaco will go the way of Microsoft's Project "Max" — a photo-sharing app intended to be a showcase for Vista's Aero and Windows Presentation Foundation Technologies — and just disappear into the sunset.
While initially Hawaii was described as the next version of Visual Studio after Orcas (the next version of Visual Studio after Visual Studio 2005 which is supposed to be released in late 2007/early 2008), Microsoft has recently amended that description and now says that Hawaii is a code name within the Visual Studio development team that is not attached to a release or product right now. Even if it becomes the next version of Microsoft's integrated development environment, following the current 2-year release cycle Hawaii would not come out until around 2010/2011.
Rosario is the code name for the next version of Visual Studio Team System following the 2007/2008 release of Orcas, the next version of Visual Studio following the current Visual Studio 2005 version. In contrast to Hawaii (see #9 above) Rosario focuses on the Team System portion of Visual Studio, i.e. the Team Foundation Server and specialized Team System set of tools for Developers, Architects, Testers, and Database professionals.
Microsoft has been rounding out its family of Windows Server offerings over the last couple of years. In addition to the existing enterprise-level server products there also is Windows Small Business Server (the next version of which is code-named "Cougar") and Windows Midmarket Server ("Centro," which is due out next year). Quattro is supposed to close the gap to the home user as a kind of Windows Home Server, like a dedicated system for sharing media, audio, video, and files. While Quattro has been mentioned in Microsoft web chats in 2005, no new details have emerged so far.
Yamazaki is the code name for Windows CE 6.0. Microsoft released the Windows CE 6.0 kernel to manufacturing on September 15. (Microsoft officially launched Yamazaki on November 1, and announced at that time that it was making all of the CE 6.0 source code available for licensing under the company's Shared Source agreement.) But it won't be until mid-2007 that the first Yamazaki-powered phones and PDAs — running Windows Mobile "Crossbow," are expected to hit the market.
Very little is known about Decatur apart from the fact that it belongs to the island-names themed set of code names that includes development tools such as Visual Studio. Decatur is said to be a set of tools designed to enable product teams to take control of the install/uninstall process for products like Visual Studio, .Net and the .Net Framework (WinFX) and Team Foundation Server.
Due to ship in the second quarter of 2007, Titan is the next version of Microsoft's Dynamics CRM tools, or CRM 4.0. Titan adds multi-tenancy and multi-currency support to Microsoft's base CRM product. Microsoft plans to offer Titan in three ways: as an on-premise, hosted and service-based (CRM Live) deliverable.
G2 is the Windows Live Messenger Mobile client for Windows Mobile devices. This service is in private beta right now together with a number of other Windows Live Mobile services Microsoft is working on. Among the new features in G2, are "nudges" (your mobile device vibrates), support for voiceclips, file transfer capability and phonebook integration with Windows Live Contacts.
Carmine is the System Center Virtual Machine Manager and currently in Beta 1. Currently Carmine works together with Virtual Server 2005 R2 and is due to ship in the latter half of 2007. It will be a complement to Microsoft's growing family of virtualization products, including the "Viridian" hypervisor technology for Longhorn Server, as well as the Microsoft Virtual Server product line.
Add-ons to Visual FoxPro (VFP) 9.0 that will enable integration with Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Windows Vista. In spite of Microsoft's plans to phase out VFP support by 2010, there remains a vibrant and vocal VFP user community that is still committed to using their favorite data-centric programming language. Microsoft has released a couple of Community Technology Preview (CTP) test builds of Sedna and is expected to ship the final version in the first half of 2007.
Creekside is the Windows XP Starter Edition, Microsoft's stripped-down, localized XP version for developing markets. The SKU was designed to help Microsoft compete with Linux and curtail piracy. Microsoft has fielded XP Starter Editions in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Brazil, Russia and many other countries. Microsoft is continuing its Starter Edition push with Windows Vista, but it is unclear at this point if Creekside also applies to Windows Vista Starter Edition or if there will be a new code name for it.
Centro is supposedly Microsoft's mid-market server which will be aimed at customers with needs that are between those using Windows Server and Windows Small Business Server. In September 2005, Microsoft "officially" acknowledged the existence of Centro. According to current schedules, Centro isn't due to hit the market until 2008. Interestingly, it will be a 64-bit only release and will integrate Windows Server Longhorn, Exchange Server 2007, System Center Essentials, SQL Server 2005, ISA Server and other Forefront security technologies, according to Microsoft.