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Microsoft book reveals it was plenty serious about making Windows 10 "the last version"

Stock Windows 10 and 11 wallpapers

Even as early as just three months ago, speculation about the next Windows version, casually referred to as "Windows 12" by the community, was ripe. Those rumors were based on a previous report of Microsoft going back to a three-year release cadence for every new Windows.

However, the Windows 12 hype has died down recently due to conflicting reports and it is believed Microsoft has had some changes to such plans. There is still a new version of Windows in work as confirmed by multiple companies including Qualcomm and Intel. But they are likely referring to Windows 11 24H2, which is the next major feature update for Windows 11.

It does not mean the speculations of a Windows 12 were baseless though. Reports suggest Microsoft altered its roadmap after the departure of ex-Windows and Surface head Panos Panay.

As hard to believe as it may be for some of you folks who recently got into Windows, there was a time when the Redmond giant had decided that it was going to stick to Windows 10 forever. Perhaps the skipping of Windows 9 made Microsoft feel awkward about the situation and hence it wanted to do away with such numbers entirely (Fun fact: References to Windows 9 have been found inside Windows 11).

The first such reports came out in April of 2015 and then a month later, Microsoft itself confirmed at Ignite that it viewed Windows 10 as "the last version of Windows". Well, obviously that did not stick as Microsoft announced Windows 11 in June of 2021.

However, the company was still undecided on that even until mid-2017. The 7th Edition of the company's Windows Internals book published in that year shows this. One of the pages in the book (available for purchase at the Microsoft Press Store) talks about future Windows versions.

Windows 10 and future Windows versions

With Windows 10, Microsoft declared it will update Windows at a faster cadence than before. There will not be an official “Windows 11”; instead, Windows Update (or another enterprise servicing model) will update the existing Windows 10 to a new version. At the time of writing, two such updates have occurred, in November 2015 (also known as version 1511, referring to the year and month of servicing) and July 2016 (version 1607, also known by the marketing name of Anniversary Update).

We have no way of knowing when exactly Microsoft had this change of heart or why. One major reason could be the update to system requirements it introduced in order to make Windows more secure, and such efforts have continued.

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