Microsoft has confirmed that Longhorn is no longer and that its new operating system will be known as Windows Vista, as in “A distant view or prospect, especially one seen through an opening, as between rows of buildings or trees” from now on.

The software, which is scheduled for a second half of 2006 launch, promises improved search and usability amongst its new features. It comes five years after XP and 11 years after Windows 95.

Brad Goldberg, general manager of Windows product development at Microsoft, said the new name was aimed at "communicating the idea of clarity."