Microsoft skipped Windows 9. It did it for a good reason

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On July 15, 2015, Microsoft launched the final version of Windows 10. It did so with an ambitious approach and very different from that of its previous version, but something strange happened: everyone expected a Windows 9 that never existed.

In Redmond they hardly mentioned the reasons that led them to make the decision to give that version to their new operating system, but there was a clear one: the need to detach from their immediate past and to try to start again almost as they wanted to do it again. zero.


A strategic error called Windows 8

With Windows 8, Microsoft found itself in an innovator’s dilemma. The Redmond company bet its future on a world in which touching the screen of the PC or laptop would be normal. never was.

Hp Elitebook Revolve

HP EliteBook Revolve

That doomed an operating system that was brave and wanted to do a different bet. one that tried to unify the mobile interface with that of the computer desktop or laptop. The tiles swamped us and wanted us to touch them, but that approach didn’t pan out on PC and laptop.

Microsoft tried to soften the criticism with Windows 8.1 in 2013 and make it possible for example to log in directly to the classic desktop and not with that tiled environment that was opted for in Windows 8. That was better for many, but it was not enough, and Microsoft knew it.

That caused them to prepare a real replacement for Windows 8. In December 2013 they started talking about Threshold, which would be the next great version of Windows. When it was time to give it a final name, everyone opted for something logical: after Windows 7 and Windows 8, the normal is that Microsoft called this version Windows 9. That’s what we were calling it too.

From Windows 9, nothing

But no. When it was finally introduced to the market, the new operating system skipped that version number. It was not called Windows 9, but Windows 10. The new proposal was much more ambitious and sought to unify the entire ecosystem of Microsoft operating systems so that the same development would govern PCs, tablets, mobile phones or the Xbox One.


The idea of ​​unifying their entire ecosystem under Windows 10 was great. It did not work, especially since mobile phones based on Windows 10 / Windows Phone never caught on.

Microsoft hardly said anything about that jump. At the Windows 10 launch event in 2014, Terry Myerson, responsible for that development, said that “we know, based on the product that’s coming, and how different our overall strategy is going to be, that it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9.”

Apparently even the possibility of calling it “Windows One” was even considered -very much in line with the name of its console, the Xbox One-, but that name could be confused with the first original version, Windows 1.0, which was released in 1985.

There are other theories that point to other reasons to skip Windows 9 as a version of the operating system. For examplewho after years creating editions of Windows that could support applications developed for Windows 95 and Windows 98, a modern system begin to by “9” could have created software conflicts, something they also commented on on Reddit at that time.

Another theory suggests that the number 9 is a number that gives bad luck in Japan, but it seems hard to believe that this could have much to do with the final decision.

The truth is that Microsoft probably took into account that they really wanted to leave the past behind and not propose the new Windows as a kind of direct successor to Windows 8/8.1.

The version jump was a practical way to “separate” the new Windows 10 from its predecessorand while they actually still shared many components, the name certainly worked in that regard.

On July 15, 2015, Microsoft launched the final version of Windows 10. It did so with an ambitious approach and…

On July 15, 2015, Microsoft launched the final version of Windows 10. It did so with an ambitious approach and…

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