A (Microsoft) code name a day: Yamazaki

Today's code name: Yamazaki. And like other versions of Windows CE, the latest version is named for a whiskey.

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: Yamazaki

Best guess on what it is: Windows CE 6.0

Meaning/context of the code name: The Windows CE team has long favored whiskeys when assigning code names. Others in this series include Talisker (Windows CE 4.0), Jameson (Windows CE 4.1), McKendric (Windows CE 4.2), Macallan (Windows CE 5.0).

Back story: Microsoft released the Windows CE 6.0 kernel to manufacturing on September 15. (Microsoft officially launched Yamazaki on November 1, and announced at that time that it was making all of the CE 6.0 source code available for licensing under the company's Shared Source agreement.) But it won't be until mid-2007 that the first Yamazaki-powered phones and PDAs -- running Windows Mobile "Crossbow," are expected to hit the market.

Additional info: CE 6.0 includes a number of new features of interest to embedded developers, including a new virtual-memory model; support for Microsoft's forthcoming exFAT file system; and support for a new device driver model.

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.