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Majority of Windows Central readers think Microsoft should drop the '10' from Windows

Surface Laptop 3 13.5
Surface Laptop 3 13.5 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Windows Central readers shared their thoughts on how Microsoft should brand Windows going forward.
  • Over 65% of people who voted believe that Microsoft should drop "10" from the name and simply go with "Windows."
  • "Windows 11" was a distant second with almost 11% of the vote.

With Microsoft putting Windows 10X on ice earlier this month, the future of Windows has been on the tips of many tongues. Our senior editor Zac Bowden discussed what's next for Windows, but we also wanted to know your thoughts. Over the weekend, we ran a poll asking, "Is it time for Microsoft to move on from the Windows 10 brand?"

The votes are in, and it's time to share what the readers of Windows Central have to say. As of the time of this writing, by far, the most popular choice is moving away from the "10" in Windows 10 and simply going with "Windows." That option earned over 65% of votes from participants.

In a distant second, almost 11% of people voted to have Microsoft choose "Windows 11" as the next name for Windows.

"Zeem Frostmaw" shared thoughts on the poll in our comments section, stating, "Once Windows 7 becomes truly obsolete (which it really should be by now, but you know how people are), a rebrand from Windows 10 to just 'Windows' would make plenty of sense." Echoing those sentiments, "NeilPeart" said, "I voted for just Windows - it just feels right..."

Microsoft has never been consistent with its naming of Windows, much to the amusement of meme-makers, so it's possible that people want to shift away from jumping to new version numbers. Dropping any numbers from the Windows name also allows Microsoft to be more flexible.

You could argue that the current version of Windows 10 is already different enough from the version that originally shipped that it should be named Windows 10.1. Not having a year or number attached to Windows lets Microsoft update at its own pace without having to worry about branding.

Several people shared that they'd prefer Microsoft sticks with Windows 10 as a name. Which side do you agree with? Hop on over to our original poll, which will remain open to get more people's thoughts.

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

40 Comments
  • How about Microsoft go with the 365 tag for everything. like Windows 365 and just have build numbers. Then they can just go with building on what they have in the current Windows 10.
  • Windows 365 sort of exists already. If you are a business, school, or enterprise you can get Windows 10 Enterprise for $50 per month
  • That implies that you will be renting Windows at about $70 per year.
  • It doesn't really matter, call it XYZ, it doesn't matter. The only thing businesses want is win32 legacy support, if that is dropped... that will be the end of Windows no matter the name. Branding. LOL
  • Branding always matters. (Functionality also matters). To run a business, the answer is always D: All of the above.
  • Enterprise doesn't give two ***** what MS calls Windows, the only thing they care about is win32 support. They could call it XYZ, nobody is going to care in enterprise... its a tool for win32 deployment and that is all. Nobody in enterprise or even consumer side really gives a ****... the have windows because of legacy. Millennials and their branding. LOL
  • There's something seriously wrong with you. Old people and their compulsive use of "LOL".
  • Does the Cortana (Halo) brand use or recognize LOL? LOL If all these brands sell things, how many Cortana enabled devices would have sold by naming it Fred? A dozen?
  • About the same then apparently.
  • Nice one! LOL
  • I cater to nothing but Fortune 500 companies. Millennials didn't invent branding.
  • The millennials just oversell it... likes its everything. Windows Phone, whenever someone would ask me what my phone was I would tell them. They would 99% of the time say, never even heard that existed. Haha In the consumer space its actually probably better that Microsoft distance itself from the product. As far as Windows the OS, nobody really cares what its called.... its not going upper or lower sales.
  • "Windows Phone, whenever someone would ask me what my phone was I would tell them. They would 99% of the time say, never even heard that existed.", that is actually part of branding, namely brand awareness. You here proved the importance of it. :>
  • Millennials are now in their 30s. They'll soon be joining the ranks of upper management en mass. Marketing always has, and will continue, to matter. What Apple has clearly demonstrated is that big companies are full of consumers. Even the executives, it turns out, are humans that buy stuff.
  • I disagree. If you named the system f*** me in the a**. I guarantee you many businesses will switch to another system or create a system that will support win32. So, yes branding does matter sometimes.
  • Are u listening Microsoft. Make this windows the one windows... Contqinerize w32/64 like uwp in a uwp like container and as u build out build in the updating features of 10x, replace the shell with cshell... We kbow u tested this... And make windows modular... At that point 10x is un necessary.... Make windows 10/pro/s/x just windows.!
  • To be fair, it wouldn't be the modern Microsoft if they didn't change the name of SOMETHING every six months.
  • Its like when they tried to use Xbox with Zune, like Xbox was selling or something. LOL
    Zune Music (2006) -> Xbox Music (2012) -> Groove Music (2015) -> discontinued 2017 And who in the hell is in charge of all the Xbox naming stuff, its confusing as hell. Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One S All Digital, Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, etc. let alone all the services. The best was when the Microsoft tried to describe all this to the court in the Epic/Apple case. LOL
  • As an aside, your poll never gave people the option to keep it as Windows 10, it was biased from the outset.
  • I was thinking the same thing. I chose “just Windows” as that was the next best option.
  • This, all the way. I didn't like any of the choices. I just chose to name it Xbox even though that was stupid.
  • Just call it WindowsOS with 10.1... 10.2...10.3 style sub numbers.
  • Series Windows
    or
    Windows Infinite
  • "Windows" is too generic. It would be an SEO nightmare from a marketing perspective and for people trying to find info about it. Not to mention a tech support nightmare for support. Try again, WC faithful.
  • I think the desire is for them to actually finish one of their endless projects of platform unification. Then, you can branch out the basic "Windows" name to product segments, as they kind of do already. Windows Lite (Windows 10 S rebrand)
    Windows Home
    Windows Pro
    Windows Enterprise
    Windows Server
    Windows ARM
    Windows ARM Pro (x86 support)
    Windows Mobile (LOL) Windows would become a unified brand that can be morphed to different customers' purchasing plans.
  • If you let Microsoft run long enough, they'll rerun their One Windows strategy. LOL How many UWP devs went down in battle? www(dot)infoworld(dot)com/article/2610769/one-windows--all-devices--the-new-microsoft-app-strategy-unveiled.html
  • Windows X running linux with wine
  • I have faith that once Windows Central readers come to a logical conclusion Microsoft will definitely not do that.
  • If Sun Valley is going to take years to get the UI updated, then why bother rebranding now? It would just make the new brand look bad before it had a chance. Also, MS applications including Office and Teams should have the new UI within a few months if not weeks. Otherwise, still will look bad to anyone not currently using or liking to use windows.
  • Hadn't MS said there wouldn't be a windows 11 ?
    So there shouldn't be any number anymore, as it's only minor versions increments. The only thing that would make sense is having names for forks, not aiming at replacing Win10, but to cover niche specific markets... until it's merged into W10 And the number can't disappear while some other versions of windows still have support.
  • Microsoft said they wouldn't sell the Xbox One without the Kinect included too.
  • Any survey that doesn't mention how many people have voted is not to be taken seriously. If only 10000 votes are received than that is nowhere near a sample rate to represent a billion people. I agree with the results because that's what I voted. It doesn't mean it's correct though. Tell us how many votes so we can know how credible this is.
  • You can click on view results, just over 2500 people voted.
  • Hello, I would go with Windows X-1 or 10X
  • Can't go with 10X,they already pumped that product in media events and have now left it to twist in the wind.
  • Why there was no option for “Windows 10”? If there was, most would have chosen that.
  • Agree.... Flawed Poll.... It assumed first off that everyone wanted the name to change...
  • To be honest, I don't care.
    Just fix Windows' user-experience.
  • It isn't quite that simple. First, when someone goes to find information on Windows via a search engine, you're much more likely to get relevant results if you search for "Windows 10" vs. "Windows". If your PC isn't working right, or you want to find out how to use a feature, etc. getting results for glaziers in your search results isn't going to be helpful. Second, "Windows 10" is easier to legally register and protect as a trademark, as it is distinct from the myriad of other uses for the term "Windows". There is little question that "Windows 10" is a product of Microsoft. Third, Microsoft has tried this before. Anyone remember the Surface Pro 5? Right, you don't, because it never existed. Microsoft's previous short-lived exercise in dropping the numerical nomenclature lasted a whole one generation until the arrival of the Surface Pro 6 when the numerical suffixes returned, as they had been up to the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft discovered that people just understand numbers, that they make it easy to rank one generation against another. A higher number means a newer product. Fourth, if at some point in the future Microsoft does finally realise that one of the largest companies to ever exist in human history should be able to figure out how to create a new iteration of their own operating system, it will be necessary to use some naming convention to differentiate the two operating systems in the marketplace. If there is a "Windows 10" and a "Windows whatever" then, for example, software developers can assure their customers that their latest app is compatible with "Windows 10" and that "Windows whatever" will be supported later.
  • Microsoft Windows is perfect.