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Programming Windows: Whistler and Blackcomb (Premium)

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Microsoft released new Windows versions at a torrid pace in the late 1990s, with two major releases---Windows 2000 and Windows Millennium Edition (Me)---arriving back-to-back in the year 2000. But the software giant had even bigger plans for the near future, with two major Windows releases, codenamed Whistler and Blackcomb respectively, that would usher in the .NET era and rebrand Windows to Windows.NET.

That wasn’t the original plan. As the 1990s ended, Microsoft was working to consolidate its NT- and MS-DOS-based versions of Windows into a single product line that combined the reliability and security of the former with the compatibility of the latter. But the technological merger kept getting pushed back. The original target was Windows 2000, which started life as Windows NT 5.0, a release that Microsoft wanted to be a “superset” of Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0.

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