That’s right folks. Windows Vienna is the new codename for Windows Blackcomb the successor to Windows Vista.
Not much is known about Blackcomb officially and Microsoft is not ready to talk about it yet. However, Microsoft’s blogging guru, Robert Scoble confirmed in a thread reply to a channel 9 video, “since this video was shot the codename for Blackcomb has indeed changed to Vienna. I haven’t gotten the story on this yet, though.”
While Windows Vista is intended to be a technologies-based release, with some UI changes (in the form of the Aero set of technologies and guidelines), Vienna is targeted directly at revolutionizing the way we interact with our home and office PCs.
For instance, the “Start” philosophy, introduced in Windows 95, may be completely replaced by a “new interface” which was said in 1999 to be scheduled for Blackcomb, before being moved to the Longhorn project, and then back to Blackcomb. The interface involved some ideas based upon truely 3D Windows and an intergration of what is now known as Sidebar.
The Explorer shell is expected to be replaced in its entirety, with features such as the taskbar being replaced by a new concept based on the last 10 years of research from Microsoft’s “Vibe” lab. Projects such as GroupBar and LayoutBar are expected to make an appearance, allowing users to more effectively manage and keep track of their applications and documents while in use, and a new way of launching applications is expected – among other ideas, Microsoft is investigating a pie menu-type circular interface, similar in function to Apple’s dock feature.
All features are speculation and rumour at this point. However, with Vista arriving so late (5 years after Windows XP) – will Vista sell to the masses just as many enterprise customers have moved to XP and many home users are comfortable with XP. Time will tell.