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Whistler was expected to be made available in "Personal", "Professional", "Server", "Advanced Server", and "Datacenter" editions.At PDC on July 13, 2000, Microsoft announced that Whistler would be released during the second half of 2001, and also released the first preview build, 2250.At the Win HEC conference on April 7, 1999, Steve Ballmer announced an updated version of Windows 98 known as Windows Millennium, breaking a promise made by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates in 1998 that Windows 98 would be the final consumer-oriented version of Windows to use the MS-DOS architecture.Concepts introduced by Neptune would influence future Windows products; in Windows ME, the activity center concept was used for System Restore and Help and Support Center (which both combined Win32 code with an interface rendered using Internet Explorer's layout engine), the hub concept would be expanded on Windows Phone, and Windows 8 would similarly use a simplified user interface running atop the existing Windows shell.In January 2000, shortly prior to the official release of Windows 2000, technology writer Paul Thurrott reported that Microsoft had shelved both Neptune and Odyssey in favor of a new product codenamed Whistler, after Whistler, British Columbia, as many Microsoft employees skied at the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort.
The theme of the campaign, "Yes You Can", was designed to emphasize the platform's overall capabilities.
Windows general manager Carl Stork stated that Whistler would be released in both consumer- and business-oriented versions built atop the same architecture, and that there were plans to update the Windows interface to make it "warmer and more friendly".
In June 2000, Microsoft began the technical beta testing process.
Windows XP was a major advance from the MS-DOS based versions of Windows in security, stability and efficiency due to its use of Windows NT underpinnings.
It introduced a significantly redesigned graphical user interface and was the first version of Windows to use product activation in an effort to reduce its copyright infringement.