After Mac OS X, after the iPod, it’s Windows XP’s turn to celebrate its twentieth anniversary on October 25th. Like Mac OS X for Apple, Windows XP was a milestone in Microsoft’s history, bearing the heavy burden of being the successor to both Windows 95/98 / Me and Windows NT / 2000. Unless you’ve spent the 2000s in a cave, or you’re really born late, you probably know the wallpaper “Verdant hill” which was its visual signature.
While Apple had needed to look for its future Mac OS X outside, by buying the NeXT company created by Steve Jobs, Microsoft had managed to develop its new operating system internally. Nevertheless, for the development teams, the stakes had been very similar: everything separated the two lines of Windows, just as much as Mac OS and NeXTSTEP. At Apple, the project had taken the name of Rhapsody. At Microsoft, we were talking about Whistler.