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)


*originally posted on Mike Hall's Weblog

Comments (12)

  1. Test Embedded CE 6.0 – why the codename Yamazaki 4.0때 팀이 통합되면서부터 위스키 이름을 붙였다고 합니다. 주류에는 전혀 문외한이라 모르고…

  2. zhaoyongpeng says:

    while,you still don’t tell us why the CE6.0’s name is Yamazaki,not others!

  3. wceqalab says:


    The code name "Yamazaki" is following the second half of our naming convention; it’s named after a whiskey.  Specifically, a Japanese whiskey (http://www.whiskeywise.com/Japanese-Whisky-Yamazaki.html)


    Jason Hoobler (Microsoft)

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

  4. Corey Burke says:

    Actually Bowmore is my favorite Scotch!  I love the peat smoke flavor, but then to each his own.  Hope you’re doing well Brandon.

    For everyone else, Bowmore = Windows CE 5.01 (an internal only release to support Windows Mobile 5.0).

    Sadly, thanks to lawyers, future OS versions will be code named after numbers (think ‘Seven’, ‘Eight’, etc).  My personal prediction is that this will lead to insane confusion when the numbered code names begin to differ from the marketing-determined product version numbers.

  5. Francis says:

    what exactly does the CE in windows CE stand for?

  6. King Tekpa says:

    Dear Francis,

    I guess the CE in Windows CE stands for Components Embedded

  7. Frank Zappa says:

    The CE in Windows CE stands for Compact Edition

  8. Shami says:

    Well am a heavy drinker of Chivas!!

    can i name the wince 7.0 by "chivas"  🙂

  9. Mark says:

    Actually CE 1.0 was Pegasus.  Alder was 2.0 and Birch was 2.12 (with the first PPC).

    Mark Miller(Microsoft)

  10. GL1zdA says:

    To be exact, all the codenames:


    CE stands for nothing according to MS books (not sure which one, either "Inside Microsoft Windows CE" by John Murray or "Introducing Microsoft Windows CE for the Handheld PC" by Robert O'Hara).

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