Microsoft Corp. has come up with an official name for the seventh version of its Windows operating system: Windows 7.

The software giant announced on Monday the name to the successor for Windows Vista on one of its blogs. The new operating system had been using Windows 7 as its development code name, and the company decided to make official.

"The decision to use the name Windows 7 is about simplicity," wrote Mike Nash, Microsoft's vice-president of Windows product management, on the Vista blog. "Simply put, this is the seventh release of Windows, so therefore Windows 7 just makes sense."

Nash said the company decided against previous conventions, where new operating systems were released with names such as Windows 98 or Windows XP. Dates were eschewed because Microsoft doesn't release operating systems every year, while "aspirational" titles weren't favoured because Windows 7 will still strive for what the company was trying to achieve with its current software platform.

"Coming up with an all-new 'aspirational' name does not do justice to what we are trying to achieve, which is to stay firmly rooted in our aspirations for Windows Vista, while evolving and refining the substantial investments in platform technology in Windows Vista into the next generation of Windows," Nash wrote.

He also said Microsoft would be showing the new Windows off for the first time at the Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles at the end of October. The company will be sharing a pre-beta "developer-only release," he wrote.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft has reportedly sped up development of its next version of Windows after Vista received a hostile reception from computer buyers.

The heavily criticized Vista has not sold as quickly as previous versions, and many businesses and consumers have decided against switching to it, instead favouring its predecessor, Windows XP.