Final release of Windows 7 to have kernel version 6.1

After the web learned earlier this week that the final name of Vista's successor was Windows 7, all hell broke loose. The general consensus was that Windows 7 wasn't a bad name, but the reasoning behind it wasn't very clear. Many couldn't figure out how Microsoft had reached the number 7 (I'll give you a hint: they were looking at the kernel version number, instead of counting every single minor and major Windows release). But then others wanted to know why the current builds of Windows 7 were at kernel version 6.1, not 7.0.

Mike Nash, Corporate VP of Windows Product Management, chimed in again on the Windows Vista Team Blog with the official explanation:

"So we decided to ship the Windows 7 code as Windows 6.1 - which is what you will see in the actual version of the product in cmd.exe or computer properties. There's been some fodder about whether using 6.1 in the code is an indicator of the relevance of Windows 7. It is not. Windows 7 is a significant and evolutionary advancement of the client operating system. It is in every way a major effort in design, engineering, and innovation. The only thing to read into the code versioning is that we are absolutely committed to making sure application compatibility is optimized for our customers."

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27 Comments

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IntelliMoo said,
"It is in every way a major effort in design, engineering, and innovation."

Uhoh, sounds like "Vista Reloaded" coming. LOL


Do you want to explain how?

Windows 98 doesn't count since it was part of the 9x stream. Either that or you include it with NT4, since it used kernel version 4....

However according to this logic... Windows 7 should be included with Vista... So I am assuming that they believe 7 is going to be a large change from Vista.

Glendi said,
Why is XP and 2000 together o.O And Windows 98???

Because XP and 2000 were both Version 5. XP was 5.1 and 2000 5.0 And 98 was version 4.9 or something like that

I belive it's called Windows 7 due to that it's the seventh version of the NT kernel? I might be wrong, but here is how i made my conclusion;

1. NT v3 (WinNT 3.1/3.5/3.51)
2. NT v4 (WinNT 4)
3. NT v5 (Windows 2000)
4. NT v5.1 (XP / Windows FLP)
5. NT v5.2 (XP (x64/IA) / Server 2003 / Home Server)
6. NT v6 (Vista / Server 2008)
7. NT v6.1 - (Windows 7)

The fundamental problem is that no one at Microsoft is bright enough to think of a more appropriate name, such as Windows 2010.

rdmiller said,
The fundamental problem is that no one at Microsoft is bright enough to think of a more appropriate name, such as Windows 2010.

Yes, that is "The fundamental problem".
We should call microsoft and tell them that's the "fundamental problem".

So, since it's "The fundamental problem", i guess that's what you will blame each time something is wrong?

Someone; "Windows 7 tells me there is a problem with my display driver, what could it be?"
You: "It's the name, sorry,nothing you can do about it"

... But seriously, seems that you thought it well through

It took Microsoft 7 failures to release something well? That is what the 7 is referring to or the name George Costanza used if he had a baby. Jerry Seinfeld in Microsoft Ads and Windows 7, coincidence? I think not!

The only reason they're using the v6.1 is to ensure poorly-written programs that use version checking on install/run that were built for Vista, thereby ensuring they work in W7. For all other intents & purposes, it really would be kernal v7.0. This is just MS's way of ensuring certain programs will still work (because the programs' programmers couldn't be bothered to write code properly... :P).

2Cold Scorpio said,
The only reason they're using the v6.1 is to ensure poorly-written programs that use version checking on install/run that were built for Vista, thereby ensuring they work in W7. For all other intents & purposes, it really would be kernal v7.0. This is just MS's way of ensuring certain programs will still work (because the programs' programmers couldn't be bothered to write code properly... :P).

+1. And it is their choice. By looking at what has been released on the net so far, this looks like the best OS from Microsoft so far.

Strictly speaking it would therefore be incorrect to say "Windows 7 is a significant and evolutionary advancement of the client operating system" if it is still running version 6 of the kernel. Therefore version 6.1 would count as minor and general improvements not evolutionary advancements!

Zoom7000 said,
Strictly speaking it would therefore be incorrect to say "Windows 7 is a significant and evolutionary advancement of the client operating system" if it is still running version 6 of the kernel. Therefore version 6.1 would count as minor and general improvements not evolutionary advancements!

You're taking those semantics waaaay too seriously (and out of context). How is it not a significant and evolutionary advancement just because the number isn't that different?

It's not incorrect at all. The kernel makes up only a part of the overall operating system and user experience. Most consumers wouldnt even have the foggiest idea what a kernel is or does or what version any specific release is built on. They will however know what functionality the operating system as a whole provides.