Talking tech since 2003

When Microsoft announced that the name of its new operating system would be Windows 10 – skipping Windows 9, which naturally should follow Windows 8 (which itself followed Windows 7…you see where I’m going with this), it was pretty tough to wrap our collective heads around. Naturally, the best minds of social media got started trying to figure it out. Here, now, is a list of reactions from just a handful of my Facebook friends:

Josh: “10 is so much more regal.”

Erik: “Hooray, they finally caught up with OS X! […] it’s a perfect 10! I’ve got all the answers.”

John: “Because seven ate nine.”

Aaron: “They want the next one to go up to 11.”

Julian: “I really think ‘Windows X’ would be a better brand name.”

Dave: “Windowsex?”

But a post on CNET that points the way back to a Reddit thread may have the best explanation for what motivated Microsoft to once again disrupt the natural order of numbers (after having abused it so badly with the Xbox brand). A user named cranbourne claims to be a Microsoft developer had this to say about the decision to skip Windows 9 – and it makes a ton of sense, especially when viewed through the lens of the infamous Y2K bug that everyone was scared about 14 years ago:

“Microsoft dev here, the internal rumours are that early testing revealed just how many third party products that had code of the form

if(version.StartsWith(“Windows 9”)) { /* 95 and 98 */ } else {

and that this was the pragmatic solution to avoid that.”

That’s right: because of applications that have been around since the era of Windows 95 and 98, they might suffer from compatibility issues because the new OS would’ve been called “Windows 9.”

It’s kind of nuts that we’re still dealing with these kinds of problems. That said, it’s not like Microsoft has a good track record with sticking with numbering that makes sense anyway. If this issue is one of the real reasons to skip the Windows 9 name, it probably didn’t take too long for the decision to get approval.

Anyway, soon we’ll all forget the naming absurdities and focus on the new OS itself, which is available in Technical Preview right now. Anyone out there download it and trying it out?

[Source: CNET]

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