Windows Blackcomb, Windows Whistler

And Windows Longhorn

Windows Blackcomb is definitive proof that Bill Gates' favorite ski resort is Whistler BC! Alright, maybe it's not proof of that but, it sure proves that some of his key software developers like to hit the slopes of Whistler/Blackcomb and then enjoy a little après ski.

You see, "Windows 7" (the next version of Windows to be released following Windows Vista) was originally codenamed "Windows Blackcomb" after Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, BC, Canada. The codename was switched to "Vienna" at some point before it became known as it is today as Windows 7.

Actually, the Microsoft/Whistler connection isn't all that surprising as the Redmond, Washington headquarters of Microsoft is only a few hours down the highway from Whistler/Blackcomb. It's also not surprising that Windows 7 was originally codenamed "Blackcomb" as Windows XP was first originally codenamed "Windows Whistler" during its development.

Are you still following me? Good, because there is one more connection that, unless you know Whistler Village, and its proximity to Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, the cleverness of the name will be lost on you. Let me explain.

You see, the original plan was for Windows Blackcomb (now Windows 7) to follow Windows Whistler (Windows XP). However, things didn't quite workLonghorn Saloon Sign Whistler Village BC Canada out that way. Around 2003, Blackcomb was delayed, and in its place an interim OS (operating system) codenamed "Windows Longhorn" was scheduled to be released. The name Longhorn came from the famous Whistler bar "The Longhorn Saloon and Grill". Windows Longhorn eventually became Windows Vista.

Here's the clever part.

Just as Windows Longhorn was sandwiched in between Windows Whistler and Windows Blackcomb, the actual Longhorn bar is located right in between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Oh, those clever Microsoft employees.

The Longhorn Saloon Patio (the yellow umbrellas
on the right) With The Whistler Gondola and Westin Resort
In The Background
Longhorn Saloon patio in Whistler Village

Now, if you were sitting on the patio of the Longhorn and looking to the left in the above picture, you would see Blackcomb Mountain to your left...

View Of Blackcomb Mountain Looking Left
From The Longhorn Saloon Patio
View of Blackcomb Mountain from the Longhorn patio

And Whistler Mountain to your right.

View Of Whistler Mountain Looking Right
From The Longhorn Saloon Patio
View of Whistler Mountain from the Longhorn patio

My guess is that the Microsoft developers were spending too much time "après skiing" in the Longhorn and not enough time working through the "bugs" on Windows XP.

So the next time you boot up your PC and see Windows XP, Vista or 7, you can thank (or curse) Whistler Blackcomb for a little bit of the inspiration behind them.

P.S. This page was written on a MacBook ;-) How's that for clever.


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