Technology A quick look back at the official announcement of Windows XP 23 years ago today


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Apr 24, 2016
There's been a ton of speculation lately on whether or not Microsoft will release a major update to Windows 11 this year or if the company will take a bigger leap and launch "Windows 12." However, 23 years ago today, Microsoft didn't keep us waiting or speculating about the next version of the OS. On February 5, 2001, the company officially announced it would launch Windows XP in the second half of the year.

Microsoft's press release about Windows XP did admit that the OS was previously under development with the code name "Whistler." As you can read in our earlier look at the history of Windows XP, Microsoft originally had its consumer and its business Windows teams as separate units. However, in 2000 Microsoft decided to merge those two units into one to work on Whistler, It would finally bring the Windows NT kernel to the consumer version and ditch the old MS-DOS architecture.

So, where did the final "Windows XP" name come from? Well, Microsoft was trying to ditch its date-based naming system for Windows that started with Windows 95 and continued with Windows 98. However, Microsoft used the Windows 2000 name for its business version of the OS, which forced the company to name the next consumer version Windows Millenium, shorted to Windows Me.

So for the next OS version, Microsoft went with Windows XP, which the company said was short for "eXPerience." Both the consumer and business versions of the OS would use the "XP" name. The company would eventually release a number of different XP versions.

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