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Microsoft Neptune
Part of the Microsoft Windows family
Neptune build 5111 logon screen
Preview version 5.50.5111 (December 27, 1999) (info)
Source model Shared source
License Microsoft EULA
Kernel type Windows NT
Support status
Not supported

Neptune was the codename for a version of the Windows operating system that was under development by Microsoft during 1999. It was based on Windows 2000 and was scheduled to be the first consumer version of Windows to be built on NT code, to replace the DOS-based Windows 9x series.[1]

In early 2000, Microsoft merged the team working on Neptune with that developing Windows Odyssey, the upgrade to Windows 2000 for business customers. The combined team worked on a new project codenamed Whistler,[2][3] which was released at the end of 2001 as Windows XP.[4][5] In the meantime, Microsoft released another home user DOS-based operating system called Windows Me.[3]

Only one alpha build of Neptune, 5111, was released to testers under a non-disclosure agreement,[6] and later made its way to various beta collectors' sites and virtual museums.[7][8]

In the early roadmap for Neptune's development there was one service pack planned, codenamed Triton. Internally, the project's name was capitalized as NepTune.[9]


Neptune largely resembled Windows 2000, but some of the new features introduced such as the firewall, were later integrated into Windows XP as the Windows Firewall. It introduced a logon screen similar to that later used in Windows XP.[6] Neptune also experimented with a new user interface, called Activity Centers, for task-centered operations.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ "Neptune - the new Windows". ZDNet. July 5, 1999.,1000000183,2072502,00.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft combines Neptune, Odyssey into Whistler". CNN. January 27, 2000. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Microsoft consolidates Windows development efforts". ZDNet. January 25, 2000.,39042972,13024681,00.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Windows XP Preview". TweakTown. August 21, 2001. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  5. ^ Christopher Jones (April 2002). "Written Direct Testimony of Christopher Jones". State of New York v. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2006-01-07. 
  6. ^ a b Thurrott, Paul. "Windows XP: The Road to Gold". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  7. ^ The Windows that Never Was… at
  8. ^ DigiBarn Screen Shots: Widnows XP Neptune Build 5111 DigiBarn Computer Museum
  9. ^ "Platforms Group - Desktop Three-Year Outlook". Microsoft Corporation. February 1998. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  10. ^ Thurrott, Paul. "Activity Centers Preview". Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  11. ^ "Microsoft Cancels Neptune, Readies 'Whistler'". betanews. January 25, 2000. Retrieved 2010-01-07. 

Simple English

Windows Neptune is a version of Microsoft Windows that was being made during 1999 and January 2000. Windows 2000 was released as an operating system for businesses and people that know how to use computers well. Windows Neptune was going to be a version of Windows 2000 that was easier for home users to use. Nobody knows if Microsoft was ever going to release Windows Neptune[needs proof]. After Microsoft stopped developing it, some of its features were merged with Windows 2000's and a new project, "Whistler", was formed. "Whistler" was later released as Windows XP.

Only two known versions of Windows Neptune exist. Windows Neptune Build 5000, which was released to very few people and Windows Neptune Build 5111, which is exists on the Internet but is hard to get hold of.

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