CE 6.0 – why the codename "Yamazaki" ?


I’ve been asked why we used the name “Yamazaki” as a codename for CE 6.0 – There’s some history behind the naming of Windows CE versions, here’s the short version…

Before the Windows CE product was released we had an internal set of tools known as the Oem Adaptation Kit also known as the OAK – an OAK of course is a type of tree.

The initial releases of Windows CE were therefore named after trees, as follows.

  • Windows CE 1.0 – Alder (Nov 1996)
  • Windows CE 2.0 – Birch (Nov 1997)
  • Windows CE 3.0 – Cedar (Apr 2000)

Interestingly, there was a second team within the Windows CE group that worked on the tools, I guess you could consider tools to be something that makes a job easier, or cuts the job down to size – therefore the tools releases were named after things that cut down trees  – as follows…

  • Windows CE 1.0 – Alder – Tools: Axe
  • Windows CE 2.0 – Birch – Tools: Buzzsaw
  • Windows CE 3.0 – Cedar – Tools: Chainsaw

For Windows CE 4.0 the original plan was to call the O/S DougFir (DouglasFir), the thing that cuts down DougFir trees was going to be Dozer (BullDozer) – interestingly, at Windows CE 4.0 the o/s team and tools teams merged together to form a new, combined team – the codenames for the operating system and tools also changed at this time from trees/tools to <drumroll>Whiskeys</drumroll> – so the codenames for Windows CE 4.0 onwards are as follows.

  • Windows CE 4.0 – Talisker (Jan 2002)
  • Windows CE 4.1 – Jameson (Jun 2002)
  • Windows CE 4.2 – McKendric (Apr 2003)
  • Windows CE 5.0 – Macallan (Aug 2004)
    • Windows CE 5.0 Network Device Feature Pack – Tomatin (Apr 2006)
  • Windows CE 6.0 – Yamazaki (Sep 2006)

– Mike

Comments (9)

  1. Jadeja Dushyantsinh A. says:

    Hey Mike,

    Awesome! Thanks for the explanation 🙂

  2. Do you have also an history for the Windows Mobile Codenames?

  3. MobileRead says:

    Microsoft is marching forward with it’s embedded operating systems. Win CE (which is what Windows Mobile OS is based on) is launching a new version 6.0 on Nov 1, 2006.

    According to the blog  of Microsoft’s Mike Hall, &quot;CE 6.0 Launch Date has been..

  4. Mike Hall has posted a great blog article about where the codenames for Windows CE come from!&amp;nbsp; Yamazaki…

  5. Mahesh says:

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the codename history. "Yamazaki" is quite a famous, quality and costly stuff in Japan. Only difference goes to CE not being costly.. 🙂

  6. mikehall says:

    I’ve not tried any Yamazaki yet, but one of my colleagues does have a bottle on the shelf in his office – I’m wondering whether he’s going to open the bottle on launch day !

    – Mike

  7. Dan McCarty says:

    A lot of people know about the trees/cutters/whiskey codenames, but not so many people know WHY the switch happened.  Any ideas, inside info or rumors?

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