Why Windows Vista was codenamed “Longhorn”

This content is 17 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Blog posts have been a bit thin on the ground recently – between work and home (new baby + toddler = full days / short nights) I’ve not had much time. Even rarer recently has been anything Microsoft-related – apologies, normal service will be resumed shortly – although short of reporting the news (long awaited release of Windows Defender, impending Windows Media 11 release), which is better left to the likes of Paul Thurrott, there’s not been a lot to say as Microsoft UK events have also been a bit sparse – presumably waiting on the Windows Vista release. Talking of the infamously delayed operating system it should be here very soon… one rumoured release to manufacturing (RTM) date of 27 October has now passed but 8 November is another date I’ve heard… so I’m about a month out with my competition entry… I should have stuck with my original instinctive answer!

On the way to work this morning, I was listening to Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott discuss Windows Vista on the Windows Weekly podcast and was amused to hear where the codename for Windows Vista (Longhorn) came from… quoting from the SuperSite for Windows Windows Longhorn FAQ:

“Remember that Windows XP was code-named Whistler and the next version of Windows, at the time, was code-named Blackcomb. Both of these names come from ski areas in British Columbia, close to Microsoft’s headquarters. At the foot of Whistler Mountain, there is a saloon named Longhorn that serves the local skiing population.”

So, the theory was that you can’t get from Whistler to Blackcomb without passing Longhorn… hence the name for the new operating system version, which was originally planned as a minor release, but soon became a major upgrade.

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