Windows 7 is in the news again. It was a month ago that I first had the question on why Windows is still in it's infancy years whereas Mac OS has entered the teenage period quite some time ago. My arithmetic was - and I posed the question to Mary Jo Foley, the Microsoft Insider :
> Hi Mary, as you are the Microsoft Insider: Can you explain the naming
> Windows 7 to me? W 3.0, W95 (=4), WNT (=5), W2000 (=6), WXP (=7),
> Vista (=9). Were Windows 1 and 2 buried, ashamed of what was state of
> the Microsoft art then? Thanks for your help, Harald
Mary pointed me to Slashdot for an answer:
Windows 95 (v. 4.0)
Windows 98 (v. 4.1)
Windows ME (v. 4.9)
Line killed off.
Windows NT 3.5
Windows NT 4.0
Windows 2000 (v. 5.0)
Windows XP (v. 5.1)
Windows Vista (v. 6)
There were no NT versions prior to 3.5 because the first NT was released after Windows 3.11, and Microsoft wanted their numbering to be consistent. NT 3.5 coexisted with Windows 3.x (and shared the same GUI design), NT 4.0 coexisted with Windows 4.x, and then MS killed off the "Consumer" Windows line, leaving the NT line to fill versions 5 and 6."
But then my questions still are: Why was XP buried as a .1 version? Why doesn't Microsoft switch to a versioning scheme growing it's operating system to teenage years alongside Apple's? Cp. my calculation above. Mysteries ...
[Update January 28: Make sure to have a look at Ed Bott's history of Windows releases.]