This is what happens when you've got an army of marketing dweebs with nothing to do: As mentioned earlier today in a special WinInfo bulletin, Microsoft announced today that it is changing the name of Windows NT to Windows 2000, starting with the 5.0 release due next year. The NT name is officially dead and buried.

That's just great.

I think this is a big mistake. "Windows 2000" will go down in computing history as one the most bone-headed name changes ever. NT stands for "New Technology," a moniker that will never go out date, like say "Windows 95" and "Windows 2000."

Presumably, dropping the NT name allows Microsoft to convince the less technical among us that "Win2K" is a logical upgrade from Windows 9x. The NT name probably causes confusion for regular consumers, which represent the biggest single market out there. And NT has a certain reputation in the consumer market for being incompatible--with most DOS programs (especially games), hardware, and the like. NT has historically required more advanced hardware than the "standard" (3.x, 9x) versions of Windows too. Windows NT 5.0 Workstation--excuse me, Windows 2000 Professional--will require 64 MB of RAM to run like Windows 98 does with 32 MB of RAM.

I would like to remind Microsoft, however, that NT also stands for a few other things among those in the know. Things like stability. And security. And robustness. Those things that Windows has never stood for. You can't have it both ways: Naming every OS "Windows," from smart cards and embedded devices the way up to multi-processor servers is a huge mistake. And removing the NT name lumps what is now a premier operating system into a group of decidedly inferior OSes.

And I'm not alone in my disdain for this name. I received dozens of emails today about this, including one from a certain citizen of Redmond who shall remain nameless at his request.

"The marketing slimeballs who thought this up are the first up against the wall when the revolution comes. Of course, this may be unfair to both the bullet and the wall," he suggested.

You get the idea. Well, it's too late to change it. I wonder what the marketing gurus in Redmond are going to come up with for the next version?

Windows 3000