RealTime IT News

Whistler No More

Microsoft announced product names today for the upcoming new Windows OS and Office desktop applications suite.

Windows, which has been code-named "Whistler" up until this point, will become Windows XP, and Office will become Office XP. According to officials at Microsoft, the XP name is short for "experience."

"These breakthrough versions of Windows and Office will give people the most powerful end-to-end computing experiences ever available," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft. "The coming generation of Windows XP and Office XP will enable customers to communicate and collaborate more effectively, be more creative and productive, and have more fun with technology."

One of the main assets to Microsoft of Windows XP and Office XP is its connection to the company's .NET initiative.

"The .NET platform uses XML to expand the platform from a single PC to include other PCs, servers, smart devices and Web services," says Gates. "Now, instead of having individual applications on each device, users will get a rich experience that spans all their devices. This evolution from applications to experiences starts with Windows XP and Office XP."

The new operating system will feature Real-time voice, video and application-sharing capabilities, as well as improved access to information from mobile sources.

Windows XP will also provide for what the company envisions as the "connected home." The new OS will give people a way to share information, devices and Internet connections within the home.

Office XP, formerly code-named Office 10, features new "smart tags," which aim at giving people quick access to other information in Office, other applications and the Internet. In addition, the new version features new document recovery tools to ensure that users do not lose their information if errors occur.

Windows XP and Office XP are currently in beta testing. Windows XP is scheduled to be generally available in the second half of 2001. Office XP is scheduled to be available toward the end of the first half of 2001.