A (Microsoft) Code Name a Day: Tolesto

Today's Microsoft code name: Tolesto. Tolesto is one of the three orbiting moons of Saturn. It's also the core subset of Microsoft's Common Language Runtime.

I'm resuming my Microsoft Code Name a Day series that I started in December 2006. The goal: To provide the back story, each day in August, on one of Microsoft's myriad code names. Some of these code names might be familiar to Microsoft watchers; others (hopefully) will be brand-new.

Microsoft code names 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. And not every product group is moving to boring, numbered codenames (like Windows 7 and Office 14).

Without further ado, let the codename games begin.

Microsoft code name of the day: Tolesto

Microsoft code name of the day: Tolesto

Best guess on what it is: The "core" subset of Microsoft's Common Language Runtime (CLR)

Meaning/context of the code name: Tolesto is one of three moons that orbit Saturn. (I wonder whether Microsoft has codename plans for the other two, Calypso and Tethys.) one of 48 named moons orbiting Saturn. (Thanks to the reader who sent in the latest NASA link.) If the Core CLR is Tolesto, perhaps the full CLR is Saturn? And Silverlight is the ring around Saturn...? Coincidentally (or not) there are a couple other past and present Microsoft codenames among the 48 moons, too, including Janus and Titan.

Back story: AT Mix '07, Microsoft acknowledged that it was embedding a subset of the CLR in Silverlight, its Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere browser plug-in designed to compete with Adobe Flash. Because the Silverlight plug-in is designed to run on not only Microsoft platforms, but also on Safari and Mozilla browsers on Mac OS X and Linux, too, the CLR can now legitimately be called "cross-platform."

Additional info: The Core CLR will include the garbbage collection, type system, generics and many of the other key features that are part of the CLR on the desktop. It won't include COM interop support and other features "that you don't need inside a browser," according to Microsoft.

Got a 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. You can also check out this video-whiteboard I did recently on Microsoft codenames.


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