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Why Not Windows 9? Why Not Just Go to 11?

“Exactly. One louder.”  – Nigel Tufnel, This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Despite all the teasing and theories, there is one reason that would be logical on why they went straight to 10 – to have it coordinate with software release versioning numbers.

Overall the naming convention has been goofy for a while. Between Windows 3 and 7, if you recall, the versions were designated by a name or year rather than a number: 95, 98, NT, Me, 2000, Vista. When Microsoft announced Windows 7, there was a similar amount of amazement with the more geeky folks like us. This is because for some time the version number has not matched the product name.

Windows 8.1 is actually version 6.3. Windows 10 is version 6.4. The last time the release name actually matched the version number was way back in Windows NT 4.0, which was when many of us got our first decent cell phone and coffee still tasted like coffee…and we walked to work uphill both ways.

However, this answer still doesn’t make sense!  Going to Windows 10 didn’t fix this issue. So, what else could it be? Well, depending on who you talk to, it could also be:

  1. Legacy apps cannot use the number 9 based on old code
  2. The number 9 is unlucky in Japan. I would agree based on my experiences with Baccarat.
  3. 1,0 is representative of binary – signifying non-decodable or a clean slate
  4. Microsoft Marketing wanted to get as far away from 8 as they could without going to 11 and people telling lame jokes from the movie This is Spinal Tap…oops.

Unfortunately there is no official answer. All in all though, what matters is improvement. Windows 10 appears to be what Windows 7 was to Vista – what should have been brought to market.  In my opinion, it is primarily due to its focus on the user experience of the device you are utilizing. Windows will be turning it up to 10 this summer, likely in July of 2015. We are looking to set up another fun event similar to when Windows 8 released. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8.1 users for 1 year.

Just remember though, Windows 10, like 7 and 8/8.1, is actually 6.4 and therefore still based on Vista.

Written by: Kevin Calgren, Partner