[ubuntu-uk] What's in a name?

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Sun Jun 12 17:42:25 UTC 2011

On 12 June 2011 16:53, suprengr <boosys at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'll try that again... sent draft not real - whoops & sorry!
> In case you're wondering why Windows NT was given that name....
> There used to be a best-in-breed mainframe sys called VMS...
> Microsoft's idea was to "go one better" and add one letter to each
> initial to prove it!
> they added "1" to V, "!" to M & "1" to S:
> one letter up [from VMS] to each of the intials = WNT!

We heard you the 1st time! ;¬)

I believe that is an urban legend, although Dave Cutler, the lead
architect of NT at MS, was also the project lead on VMS & earlier DEC
OSs. VMS ran originally on the VAX, incidentally, a minicomputer, not
a mainframe. There are various resemblances between NT and VMS at a
low level.

NT was built on the foundations of the original OS/2 3, after MS & IBM
fell out. IBM kept OS/2 2, the 80386 version; MS got the portable
version. It foundered until MS head-hunted Cutler from DEC. He was
frustrated as DEC management had red-lighted his project to create a
portable, cross-platform version of VMS. (I think it was called

NT was originally not developed on x86 - that was OS/2 2 territory. It
was developed for the Intel RISC chip, the i860, a general-purpose
RISC chip partly descended from the earlier i960, an embedded chip.

The i860 was codenamed N10: n-ten, or NT for short.

That's where the "NT" came from.

Source: Bill Gates in a 1988 interview. :¬)

Liam Proven • Info & profile: http://www.google.com/profiles/lproven
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