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Windows 10 will be the final version of Windows, with a move to regular updates

We’ve all had a laugh (probably) about the jump from Windows 8 to Windows 10 – even Microsoft has joked about ‘Windows 10, because 7 8 9’ as we reported yesterday – but it seems we won’t have to worry about whether Windows 11 will be next in line as a moniker for the OS.

Because there won’t be another ‘version’ of Windows as such – that’s the word from Microsoft at its Ignite conference this week.

The Verge spotted that Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist, said during Ignite: “Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.”

In other words, forget Windows 11 – or maybe Windows 2020 down the road – Windows 10 represents a move away from big major releases every couple or few years, to a system of regular improvements. Windows 10 has split its various system components into distinct parts that can be overhauled separately, so if the Start menu needs redoing, it can be retooled on its own, and pushed out to Windows PCs when ready.

As the Verge observes, this is a move to Windows-as-a-Service, and while there may still be version numbers in the background, the OS could end up just being called plain ‘Windows’, and getting updates pushed whenever necessary.

This will make for a faster and more reactive operating system in terms of addressing user demands – but the question is, will it lead to a subscription ‘as-a-Service’ model for Windows users? We’re guessing that’s Redmond’s long-term goal.

A Microsoft spokesperson told the Verge that they wouldn’t be drawn to talk about future branding right now, but stated: “Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers.”

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.