The Infancy of SBS and Dr. Seuss – Hear a Who? – Codename Historical Factoid

Did you know? …

SBS was once known as SAM or more correctly “Sam”.  This is much the same as “Cougar” was to SBS 2008 or also recently how “Longhorn” was to Vista

SBS was also once known as “Horton”. Do you hear a ‘who’? I do, I do.

in honor and memory of recently deceased radio legend Paul Harvey:
“Here’s the rest of the story.”

After being offered the opportunity via a MVP Summit 2009 proxy to submit requests to the SBS Team in Redmond I took the chance to expand the scope of some of my questions to learn a little about the history of the software product.  Yesterday I had just read something that I wanted to clarify.  Was this story truth or a myth or urban legend?

A recent SBS article I web-stumbled upon was claiming this historical name was once due to intensions to distribute it through SAM’s Club and for it to be so simple as to not require any technical skill to install.  So I wanted some answers and I got everything I wanted “in spades” and from a DIRECT source.  …let me explain

First, I’d like to thank MVP Kevin Royalty for acting as a researcher and go between.

****key in some 2001 Space Odyssey music and dim and then ever so slowly raise the lights to dramatic effect****

(Narrator deep dramatic voice)
So originally SBS is an idea and then it became a reality.

In the beginning …a guy named Keith Logan came up with the SBS idea.  Also Paul Fitzgerald coworker with Keith Logan , SBS Dev Team founding and current member, was directly involved with the genesis of the SBS product at that moment of inception.  Here’s his very helpful emailed response (sparingly shortened and chronologically re-ordered) today that was given to me:

From: Dale Unroe
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009
To: Kevin Royalty

Yesterday, I stumbled onto a story that stated that historically the very first version of SBS was in fact something called SAM because it was to be solely distributed through Sam’s Club and wasn’t to require any technical knowledge to install.  Can you verify if these are the facts?  What can you uncover while there in the bowels of the SBS secret archives?

From: Paul Fitzgerald
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009
To: Kevin Royalty
Subject: RE: sbs was “SAM”?

4.0 was called Sam.  (as in Sam I Am the Dr Seuss book. The original creator of the SBS idea was a guy named Keith Logan and he was a Dr. Seuss fan

4.5 was called Horton (again in the same Dr. Seuss theme)

There is some truth to the sam’s club thinking but the code name was really from Dr. Seuss.

From: Kevin Royalty
To: Paul Fitzgerald

May I pass this on to Dale?

From: Paul Fitzgerald



********Wow!! – so there we have it and right from an SBS inception & development member Paul Fitzgerald – SBS was named “Sam” and not “SAM”.

imagehaving just found this today I laughed out a loud – woohooo
…and so perhaps Google, like Horton, gives a ‘who’ too!

<roll credits and raise the house lights>

***and that smashes the weakly researched story and busts this short-lived myth***

BTW – I didn’t mention SBS 2003 codename ‘Bobcat’, also SBS 2000’s codename  is nothing as there never was one given which was common to the Windows 2000 product family


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