What's in a Code Name?

Microsoft commonly uses code names for unreleased versions of products it's developing. The code names for the versions of Visual Studio since its initial release in February 2002 have followed a geographic pattern. Everett, a town in Washington about 30 miles from Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, was the code name for Visual Studio .NET 2003, the currently shipping product. Whidbey, the next release, is named for Whidbey Island in Puget Sound, offshore from the town of Everett. The Whidbey release is tied to the next version of SQL Server (code-named Yukon), due in late 2004. The next version of Windows XP, due after 2004, is code-named Longhorn. The VS.NET version Microsoft will release around the same time is code-named Orcas. Orcas Island in Puget Sound is even further from Redmond than Whidbey Island.