Microsoft to merge business, consumer Windows code projects

Microsoft to merge business, consumer Windows code projects

Microsoft has confirmed that two operating system projects, Neptune and Odyssey, have been merged into a single future product, Whistler, for both consumers and business users.

Microsoft has long intended to merge its two Windows code lines by dropping the legacy, MS-DOS-based Windows 95/98 code. But last spring, these plans were delayed when the company announced its intention to introduce at least one more Windows 95/98 iteration, code-named Windows Millennium and due to be released later this year.

After Millennium, Microsoft had scheduled a consumer operating system based on the Windows NT kernel, code-named Neptune. Separately, the company was working on a Windows 2000 follow-up called Odyssey. Both projects - which were based on the same Windows NT code line - have now been merged into Whistler.

Whistler also happens to be the code-name of Microsoft's speech recognition technology, leading to speculation that speech technology will be a built-in feature of the operating system release. Microsoft said it was too soon to discuss specifics of the product.

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