After naming Windows 10 releases after Halo and Minecraft, Microsoft decided to get serious. Windows 10’s upcoming April 2019 Update is codenamed 19H1. But, Microsoft has reportedly changed its mind and will embrace Marvel with “Vanadium” and “Vibranium” after that.

This news comes via Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley. She notes that the Windows engineering team was merged with the Azure cloud computing team, and Windows is just embracing Azure’s naming conventions:

The Azure team uses the elements for codenames. The current Azure codename for the 19H1 deliverables is “Titanium,” (Ti) I hear, but the Windows client team didn’t end up using that, as they’d already started employing internally and externally “19H1.”

The Windows 10 feature release that some of us were expecting to be called 19H2 will actually be called “Vanadium,” (V) my contacts say, in keeping with the Azure naming scheme. If the team sticks with the order of the table of elements, the first Windows feature release in 2020 would be called “Chromium” (Cr). Obviously, that could create for more than a bit of confusion, given Google’s use of that term. As a result, I’m hearing the team is likely going with a made-up element name for that release, likely “Vibranium.” (Vibranium is what Captain America’s shield is made out of, as I’ve been schooled.)

So it’s not just about Marvel. The Windows 10 team wants to embrace element names, but who wants to release Windows 10 “Chromium”? Chromium is the name of the open-source project that forms the basis for Google Chrome, and Chromium OS is the open-source project that forms the basis for Chrome OS. The jokes write themselves, so the team is going with a Marvel name.

The first release of Windows 10 and the original November Update were codenamed “Threshold 1″ and Threshold 2” after the original planet from the first Halo game.

After that, Windows 10’s Anniversary Update through the October 2018 Update were codenamed Redstone 1 through Redstone 5. Redstone is a type of material in Minecraft that is used for crafting and creating circuits, so it makes sense. After all, Microsoft purchased Minecraft-creator Mojang and now owns Minecraft.

After that, the Windows team abandoned cute codenames and switched to 19H1 for the upcoming release, which will make your PC faster. But they’re once again switching to a new codename scheme with “Vanadium” and “Vibranium,” released starting in October 2019. Vibranium is also what the Black Panther’s suit is made from in the Marvel universe, for the record.

It’s worth noting that these are just development codenames. While the October 2018 Update is named Redstone 5, Microsoft just calls it the October 2018 Update when talking to normal Windows users. The codename is used early in development—for example, the in-development build of Windows 10 is currently called 19H1, but it will get a final name later. (That final name will probably be the “April 2019 Update.”

Microsoft, of course, refused to comment when Mary Jo Foley asked it about this. But it’s probably happening. And the Surface team also uses element names for Surface device codenames, as Walking Cat points out on Twitter.

We still wish Microsoft would just name Windows 10 releases after dogs.

RELATED: Windows 10's Next Update Will Make Your PC Faster, Thanks to Better Spectre Fixes

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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