A (Microsoft) code name a day: Hawaii

"Hawaii" is part of the Microsoft developer division's family of island code names. But Hawaii isn't simply the next version of Visual Studio due to follow Visual Studio "Orcas." Find out more in today's "Microsoft Code Name a Day" installment.

Even though more and more teams at Microsoft seem to be shying away from christening their fledgling products with good, old-fashioned code names – favoring the ever-so-boring “V.Next” designation instead -- there are still some who are doing so.

Microsoft code names always have piqued my interest. They offer some great clues about the Redmondians’ development priorities, not to mention a better understanding of which future Microsoft products fit together, from a strategy standpoint.

code name
of the day:

In honor of Microsoft code-name junkies everywhere, I’m going to feature one, random Microsoft code name per work day for the rest of this month. I’ll provide as much information as I’ve been able to unearth on each, and attempt to provide some context as to how the team chose the name and how the forthcoming technology fits into the Redmond product hierarchy.

Microsoft code name of the day: Hawaii

Best guess on what it is: A catch-all term for the set of Microsoft's development-tool technologies that will follow the "Orcas" wave

Meaning/context of the code name: Even though "Hawaii" may seem like it's part of the "vistas" code-name theme adopted by the Windows client team, it actually is not. Hawaii is part of the "islands" branch of code names favored by Microsoft's developer division. Visual Studio 2005 was code-named "Whidbey" (as in Whidbey Island near Seattle). The next version of Visual Studio after Whidbey is code-named "Orcas" (named for Orcas Island in the San Juans) and is due out in 2007 (or, more likely, I'm starting to think, in 2008). Hawaii is the successor to Orcas, which would make it a 2010/2011 wave of products, if Microsoft sticks to its current every-two-year delivery schedule.

Back story: When the Hawaii code name first came to light, it was described as the version of Visual Studio set to follow Orcas that would include a completely redesigned integrated development environment (IDE). This year, Microsoft officials changed their tune and amended their description of Hawaii. "Hawaii is a code name that's not actually attached to a release right now," according to Sam Guckenheimer, group product planner for Visual Studio Team System..

Additional info: With the growing focus in Microsoft's developer division on tools for not just traditional programmers, but also designers and hobbyists, it's not surprising that the "Hawaii" name might cover more than just Visual Studio itself.

Anyone have any additional "Hawaii" info to share? Or have another Microsoft code name you’ve been wondering about? Send it my way and I’ll do my best to track down some leads on what it might be.

And if you want to keep track of the full month's worth of Microsoft code names I end up posting, bookmark this "Microsoft Codenames" page.