Why Windows 9 Doesn’t Exist

Windows 10 has been around for almost a couple of years now, but people still can’t stop asking: why is there no Windows 9? Why did Microsoft jump from Windows 8.1 to 10?

If these questions are bugging you, too, we’re here to bring you answers. Read on to know why the Redmond-based tech giant refused to give birth to Windows 9.

Microsoft’s Story

According to Microsoft, they opted not to name their latest OS “Windows 9” because it was not an “incremental step from Windows 8.1” but rather a “material step”. The company took a different approach in developing the OS, aiming to unite “as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things”, so they didn’t feel that it was right to call it the “Windows 9” platform.

During the OS’s launch event, Microsoft Windows and Devices Group executive VP Terry Myerson pointed out that “Windows One” would have been a good choice since it complemented the company’s other products like Xbox One, OneNote, and OneDrive. Unfortunately, there was already a Windows 1, so Windows 10 seemed to be the next-best choice.

Other Theories

The explanation above is the official statement from Microsoft, but it didn’t stop people from having theories as to why the company ditched the Windows 9 label.

One of the most popular theories is that many software use a certain line of code — if(version.StartsWith(“Windows 9”)) — to check the OS version that computers are running. The code will pick up Windows 95 and 98 since they both start with the number “9”; for the same reason, it will also home in on Windows 9, and this can cause plenty of problems. Microsoft allegedly jumped to Windows 10 to avoid these issues.

Another popular theory tells us that Microsoft skipped Windows 9 to cater to Japanese customers. The number 9 is considered to be unlucky in Japan because it’s pronounced “ku”, which has same pronunciation for “agony” and “torture” in Japanese. The person who brought up this theory points out that Microsoft has a huge presence in Japan and that the company may have opted for “Windows 10” to avoid stirring up negative publicity in the country.

Others believe that Microsoft simply wanted to put some space between its newest OS and Windows 8.1, which has not been popular among users due to its poor performance. By using the name “Windows 10”, the company is somehow sending the marketing message that the latest platform is miles apart from Windows 8.1 in terms of interface, features, and overall performance.

Of course, there’s always the popular joke that Windows 7 8 9. Get it? Windows 7 ate 9, which is why Microsoft jumped straight to 10. Even Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s Operating System Corporate VP, acknowledged the joke by wearing a T-shirt that spelled “Windows 10, because 7 8 9” in binary code.

It Doesn’t Really Matter, Though

Jumping from Windows 8.1 to 10 doesn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things since the names of Windows’ various versions don’t exactly correspond to the OS’s actual version number. Windows 2000, for instance, was actually version 5.0, and Windows XP was version 5.1. Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 were versions 6.0, 6.1, 6.2, and 6.3, respectively. So, if you think about it, the newest OS is actually version 6.4 or version 7 at the most — and this wouldn’t change whether Microsoft decided to call it Windows 9 or 10.

Check out this post to learn more about Windows 10!

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