You probably already know this, but Visual Studio “Whidbey” is not going to be the official name of the next version of Visual Studio. Turns out it will be Visual Studio Whidbey, same name just no quotes. Isn't that funny? I just made that up. Could you tell?

Actually, the name will be Visual Studio 2005. Notice two things. First the 2005 part, indicating we won't be shipping in 2004. Also notice we are no longer going to call it Visual Studio .NET. But we will continue to call it the .NET Framework and we will continue to call them ASP.NET and ADO.NET. What about the languages? Just call them the Visual Basic language and the C# language. No .NET there. What about products. Well it would be Visual Basic 2005 Standard Edition, or Visual Basic Standard Edition version 2005. One of the two.

Does this mean .NET is dead? Of course not. We tweak names all the time. Remember when it was called Word for Windows? That distinguished it from the Word for DOS version. Eventually Word for DOS was no more and we just started calling it Word. No need to call it Office XP for Windows. Office XP only ran on Windows. And now it it officially now called Microsoft Office Word 2003. But at the end of the day it is still Word. Similarly, VB 2005 is obviously the .NET version and you know what it is, whether or not is has .NET.

Admitedly, renaming things can cause confusion. (We were asked today by our buddies at CoDe magazine about ASP.NET. They have been calling it ASP.NET “Whidbey”. What should they call it now? I have the luxury of asking the ASP team and will report back what they tell me.) But remember, we're building the next version of VS, VB, C#, ASP, ADO etc and that's what they are, regardless of what name eventually officially winds up on the box and in print. And all the new features and capabilities we have been talking about since PDC will be in there.

“What ’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
- Shakespeare