On October 27, 1998, Microsoft announced that the oft-delayed Windows NT 5.0 would be renamed to Windows 2000. The name change was largely symbolic, since NT 5.0 would not ship in a consumer version to replace Windows 98 as originally promised. Instead, Microsoft’s long-planned platform unification would have to wait for the next major release.
Still, it was the end of the era. Though the Windows hawks had won back control of the desktop from Brad Silverberg’s Internet Platform and Tools, there was a sense inside Microsoft that the computing world was moving on from the PC. And that the forces that had put the PC at the center of personal technology would soon do so for simpler devices, for web applications, or for some combination of the two.