Following confusion from some quarters, Microsoft has explained its reasoning behind officially naming its next operating system "Windows 7".

Mike Nash, corporate VP, Windows product management, defends the moniker as both "simple" and "logical" and states in a blog posting:

"Anyway, the numbering we used is quite simple. The very first release of Windows was Windows 1.0, the second was Windows 2.0, the third Windows 3.0."

"Here's where things get a little more complicated. Following Windows 3.0 was Windows NT which was code versioned as Windows 3.1. Then came Windows 95, which was code versioned as Windows 4.0. Then, Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows Millennium each shipped as 4.0.1998, 4.10.2222, and 4.90.3000, respectively. So we're counting all 9x versions as being 4.0."

"Windows 2000 code was 5.0 and then we shipped Windows XP as 5.1, even though it was a major release we didn't want to change code version numbers to maximize application compatibility."

"That brings us to Windows Vista, which is 6.0. So we see Windows 7 as our next logical significant release and 7th in the family of Windows releases."

That's that cleared up, then...