Foggy Windows: How Microsoft Forgot to Count to 10


No company does a curtain raiser quite like Apple (horrible video streaming technology and forced rock star plug notwithstanding). Unfortunately, the company that knows this fact best is Microsoft.

As the number of Apple acolytes in this country swells up faster than Barry Bonds’ biceps, Microsoft floats in the raging ocean like chum waiting for sharks. We can only imagine the subject lines of its internal emails, though we assume that many include the letters W, T and F.

And then they got the epiphany that had been alluding them for decades: Windows 10!

What’s wrong with this lovely family portrait?

First, the company named its OS by year of release. Then, it called the software “NT”,” “Me,” “XP,” and “Vista.” After that quartet failed to catch on, it went back to numerals with Windows 8, which came with apps, a home screen and the toggle option.

But, as CNET tells us, the company needed something bigger, better, faster and — yes — stronger. It couldn’t be Windows 8.2 or even Windows 9, so they skipped a number and left common sense behind to dub this new toy Windows 10.

Windows 10 is such a substantial leap, according to Microsoft’s executive VP of operating systems, Terry Myerson, that the company decided it would be best to skip over Windows 9, the widely expected name for the next version.

“Windows 10 will run on the broadest amount of devices. A tailored experience for each device,” Myerson said at a press event here Tuesday. “There will be one way to write a universal application, one store, one way for apps to be discovered purchased and updated across all of these devices.”

So, why skip a number for a press unveiling that many people didn’t even anticipate?

“Windows 10 will be our most comprehensive platform ever,” Windows chief Terry Myerson said at a briefing with reporters in San Francisco. “It wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9.”

Anyone buying that? This screen grab tells us that they at least got the message regarding Windows 8 and the tone-deaf tendency to call it “the new Vista.” So they did this:

windows10 start menu

Before you watch the below announcement in its 36-minute entirety, skip to the 2:10 mark where Myerson says: “We know, based on the product that’s coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn’t be right to call it Windows 9.”

He then talks about how Windows One would make sense given Xbox One, OneDrive, and OneNote, but “unfortunately Windows One has been done by the giants that came before us.” And so it seems the only other viable option was Windows 10.

Does this make sense to you?

Publish date: October 2, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT