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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu Joe Belfiore, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems Group, demonstrates Continuum for phones at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco last month.
Windows 10

This is why Windows 10 is going to be the 'last version of Windows'

Microsoft want to deliver Windows as a service, providing smaller, more frequent updates instead of major ones.

AS FAR AS releases go for Microsoft, Windows 10 has been highly anticipated. One that is not only learning from the mistakes of previous releases (we’re looking at you, Windows 8), but is attempting to span all devices like your PC, tablet, smartphone and future devices like the HoloLens, making it a universal OS.

Yet what may come across as surprising is the announcement that Windows 10 will be the last major release of Microsoft’s OS.

One of its employees, developer evangelist Jerry Nixon, said at Microsoft’s Ignite conference in Chicago that “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.”

That doesn’t mean that Windows will be killed off for good anytime soon. It means instead of major releases like Windows 10 happening from now on, updates would be smaller and more frequent, indicating a shift of priorities for Microsoft.

The reason Microsoft give for this is they want to deliver Windows as a service, rather than a product. Instead of having to make one major update, individual sections like the start menu, apps, and settings can be updated independently of Microsoft’s core section.

This is highlighted by a statement from the company to the Verge.

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.

It means making changes will (theoretically) be easier since one adjustment won’t affect the entire system, but it is ambitious considering the different types of devices that will run it.

How frequent the updates will be isn’t clear yet. It could possibly be similar to Mac OS X where updates happen every so often or it could be like Chrome or apps where small updates happen reguarly without anyone noticing.

Ultimately, it means the likelihood of you seeing a Windows 11 or Windows 12 (if Microsoft wanted to follow the same jump from Windows 8 to 12) certainly isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

Microsoft Big Show AP Photo / Jeff Chiu A Dell computer running Windows 10. AP Photo / Jeff Chiu / Jeff Chiu

Much like browsers and apps, it’s unlikely that people won’t care what version or edition software is at this point so long as it works. And maybe we’ll hit a point where it will just be known as Windows, dropping the 10 entirely.

For now, the focus is on Windows 10 being released. The desktop version will arrive this summer while the smartphone version of Windows 10 will be released at a later date.

Read: Why Uber could be about to become the most valuable startup in history >

Read: Sick of this sight? Dublin could be getting a load of new ranks. Here’s where >

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