Windows 10: The Real Reason Microsoft Skipped Windows 9

The tech community is always up for another conspiracy, and this time, it has to do with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s naming of Windows 10. Was it really because Windows 8 was such a flop that the company wanted to put extra distance between Windows 10 and the much-maligned Windows 8? Or was there another reason?

Of course the tech community thinks there’s more to the story. What a surprise.

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Windows 9 clashing with Windows 95?

There’s a rumor going around that suggests it’s all Windows 95’s fault. Microsoft management did a good job of spinning the story. Microsoft Operating Systems chief Terry Myerson said in one interview, “Windows 10 represents the first step of a whole new generation of Windows.”

The rumor stems from a Reddit user who claims to be a Microsoft developer. User Cranborne said there are “internal” rumors that the company ran into problems with the Windows 9 name because of a shortcut used by a lot of third-party developers.

That shortcut looks for Windows 9 instead of Windows 95 or Windows 98. The code apparently doesn’t look for a second number there and just grabs onto the Windows 9 part of the name. It’s pretty similar to the Y2K issue we had back when the 2000 year rolled around. Engadget spoke to some developers who said the explanation seems plausible.

Others suggestions about the Windows 10 name

That’s not the only suggestion on Reddit about why Microsoft skipped Windows 9. One user pointed out that the company already has 10 versions of Windows: Windows 1, 2, 3, 95, 98, ME, XP, Vista, 7 and 8. So naturally there’s a discussion about which one Microsoft wants to get rid of.

That kicked off a discussion about why the successor to the Xbox 360 was the Xbox One. Microsoft painted that as signifying its new initiative, “One experience for everything in your life.” But of course Windows 1 has already been done, as Myerson pointed out, so we couldn’t have Windows 1.

So now there’s one question left. Why do we really care what Microsoft named its new operating system?