Why it's time Microsoft made a Windows 11

Windows Sun Valley mock
Windows Sun Valley mock (Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 Start Logo Hero

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

2021 is a big year for Windows. Even without Windows 10X, Microsoft has a lot of plans for the Windows platform thanks to Sun Valley and its renewed interest in bringing OS innovation to market. Microsoft told us last year that it would be reinvesting in the Windows platform in 2021, and it is now almost time to see the result of that reinvestment.

We know Microsoft is planning to hold a dedicated Windows event soon, likely within the next handful of weeks. This event will be Microsoft's chance to prove to the world that it's still serious about Windows by unveiling its new Windows user experience (UX) and features that are designed to make using Windows better on PCs and tablets.

Unveiling a new Windows UX and feature set is all well and good, but you know what would really set the market on fire? A new version of Windows. A successor to Windows 10, if you will. I think it's time for Windows 11. I know it sounds crazy, but based on everything that's happening this year, I think it would make sense if it happened. Hear me out.

Sun Valley is happening

Microsoft is already working on a significant Windows UX overhaul. The Sun Valley effort aims to reinvigorate the Windows Desktop with new shell features, sounds, animations, and app designs. Why not use this as an opportunity to headline a new version of Windows?

I've had the chance to peek at some of what Microsoft is working on with Sun Valley a handful of times, and I personally think the features and changes they're planning to ship warrant a new version of Windows on their own. Microsoft is essentially bringing modified versions of some parts of the Windows 10X interface over to desktop, along with some new UX things too.

If you've used or even seen Windows 10X, you'll know that it's quite the departure from Windows 10 and was announced as a new release of the OS. As Sun Valley's UX follows a similar path, I think it would make sense for it to ship as a "Windows 11" thing.

If Microsoft did do this, I think it'd also have to make Windows 11 a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, just like how Windows 10 was a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. It could even show up as feature update in Windows Update, just like existing Windows 10 feature updates do. It would be seamless, and offering a new version of Windows for free is good PR.

Implies a fresh start

Windows 10X Mock Laptop Dark

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

There's no doubt that Windows 10 is a great operating system, but doing a Windows 11 would imply that Microsoft is starting fresh. All the bad of yester-Windows is in the rearview mirror; Windows 11 is here, and it rights all the wrongs of Windows 10. Of course, the reality of the situation would be less drastic. Windows 11 would basically be Windows 10 with a new UX on top, but that's more than enough for most end-users. This has worked for Apple with the introduction of macOS 11, so I don't see why it couldn't work for Windows too.

It also gives Microsoft a chance to remove features that haven't worked well without it coming across as a "failure." Features like Timeline, My People, and Live Tiles could be removed or replaced with better alternatives on Windows 11, and most people wouldn't notice that Microsoft is actually backtracking on a few things.

Easily generates hype

Panos Panay

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If Microsoft wants the world to know Windows is back, it needs to generate a lot of hype. Holding a dedicated Windows event is a good way to do this, but announcing a new version of Windows at said event would be the biggest Microsoft announcement of the year, and possibly the biggest Windows related news in the last half decade.

It would also give Microsoft an opportunity to kick off a new marketing campaign that highlights the fact that there is a new version of Windows in town. OEMs would be able to sell PCs with the added benefit that it comes with "Windows 11" out of the box, which could be a viable selling point for a lot of people this holiday and into 2022.

The secrecy is back

Windows 8 Start Screen

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Microsoft has significantly upped the level of security and secrecy around the work it's doing on Sun Valley. The internal selfhost builds are watermarked with warnings that say to not take screenshots, and testers are being instructed to not show their desktops to anyone outside the project.

The Windows org hasn't seen this level of secrecy around a release of Windows since the Windows 8 days, back when Steven Sinofsky was in charge. Microsoft had a heightened level of security around early Windows 8 dev in an effort to stop the Start screen experience from leaking before announcement. I'm witnessing a very similar thing happening with Sun Valley right now.

All this just tells me that the stuff Microsoft is working on is significant enough to warrant a new version of Windows if Microsoft really wanted to brand it as such.

Chance for a new logo

Windows 11 Mock Logo Wc

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The Windows 10 logo has been with us for a number of years, and the current Windows flag has been with us for almost 10 years. Doing a Windows 11 would give Microsoft a chance to refresh the branding around Windows, updating it to match the rest of Microsoft's Fluent Design System and modern iconography.

I know Microsoft has been kicking around the idea of using the Microsoft logo in place of the Windows flag for some time as it was one of the things they originally considered for Windows 10X. It would still be called Windows, but changing the logo would allow Microsoft to align it with the rest of Microsoft's major product portfolio. Surface already uses the Microsoft logo, for example.

But Microsoft said …

Myerson Windows 10

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

I know Microsoft said Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, but that was said under old leadership that is now long gone. Microsoft was stupid for saying "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows" back when it did because it backs the company into a corner that is unnecessary for it to be in. You should never say never.

Microsoft would have to go back on their word, but I think it would be worth it as the impact of a new version of Windows with a new UX and new features coming to market is huge. Plus, if they made it a free update for Windows 10 users, that's even more positive press generated for basically no effort on Microsoft's part.

Besides, if Microsoft really wanted to, it could ship the Windows 11 release as another Windows 10 feature update. Instead of this fall's update being called the Windows 10 October Update, it would just be called Windows 11. This is exactly how Apple and Google operating systems handle major new releases.

Heck, if Microsoft returns to one major feature update a year (or maybe ever couple of years,) the next big release release of Windows could be called Windows 12! That's assuming Microsoft has more big updates planned beyond Sun Valley of course. A simple way to think of this would be as a change in how Microsoft names Windows 10 feature updates.

We'll have to see

Regardless of how Microsoft decides to announce and ship Sun Valley, I think Microsoft's number one goal for Windows in 2021 should be to generate hype and convince the world that Windows is still relevant. I think the easiest way to do that is by announcing a Windows 11, but delivering Sun Valley as another version of Windows 10 would work too.

Word on the rumor mill is that Microsoft's dedicated Windows event will be held sometime in June. I would suspect that Windows Insiders will be able to start testing Sun Valley bits in that timeframe too, as I know the company is waiting to announce all the new stuff on stage before it's put into public testing, just like in the old Windows days.

Also, to be clear, I'm using "Windows 11" as an example as it sells the point I'm trying to make. I'm not specifically suggesting it should be called Windows 11, as anything would work. It just needs to signify that it isn't Windows 10 anymore. I know people think they should drop the 10 and just call it "Windows," but I think it makes more sense to have an identifying factor in the name.

Either way, I'm excited about Windows again, and I think you should be too. Sun Valley will deliver a great new UX for all devices, including the best Windows laptops, tablets, and desktops. In the meantime, what are you hoping to see from Windows and Sun Valley this year? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

125 Comments
  • I could see them dropping "10" and just call it Windows but nothing else
  • I can't because for support purposes saying you are "running Windows" is a damn nightmare. It's bad for searches, it's bad for tech support, it's bad for consumer and enterprise education/awareness and it's just too generic to be a viable trademark/copyright. So, no.
  • This explanation isn't correct at all. First Windows 10 relates to around 10 different versions of Windows by now, and there will be dozens more in the future so it doesn't help in anything quoted above and will be even less helpful in the future if it remains as is the current plan. So this is no worse by any meaning. And just because it is called 10 doesn't mean that all its users can report correctly that they are using Windows 10, many can't and then they can easily find the version number in the dialog just like they would do if it was called only Windows. Second Windows can be a trademark, actually it is a trademark. There is nothing generic in calling the operating system Windows. It would be a problem if you wanted to use this as a trademark for real aluminum or wooden windows that wouldn't pass.
  • "This explanation isn't correct at all."
    It is correct and the reason why Microsoft didn't go with "Windows" when naming "Windows 10" per conversations I have had with them. They're not going to call it just "Windows."
  • Then it is the correct quotation of incorrect opinion, sorry. But it doesn't make it a correct opinion.
  • That's what Microsoft might have told you, but it's still a bad explanation. Apple literally changed OS X to macOS and they seem to be doing just fine. Granted they have a different customer base, but still. Even if it's just called "Windows" it will have a version number. It's really no different than finding out what version of Windows 10 you're running for tech support. For marketing purposes, it can be referred to as the new Windows.
  • Exactly. Same with Android and Chrome OS. They already own the trademark for "Windows". If they're worried about support, they can refer to the update names (like they already do in their support articles, as do competitors do). For example, they can put "21H2" or "Sun Valley Update" or whatever consumer-friendly update name they want to give. But the OS itself should simply be called "Windows". Adding a number only makes it sound dated fast.
  • Don't be stupid. He said that it's very hard for one to "TRADEMARK" word such as "Windows" or are you blind that you can't read? it's like you going to trademark LOVE because your developing Love OS. Apple can trademark mac, Macintosh and all that. You can't be out here trying to trademark generic words like Windows, Door, Car etc
  • "It is correct ..." Certainly not the part about how Windows is too generic to be a viable trademark. Ya know, cuz it already is a trademark.
  • Except that... it isn't? Nobody has a trademark on "Windows". "Microsoft Windows"? Yes. "Windows 10"? Yes. But not "Windows". Because its to generic.
  • Except that... it is. Ooops. Here is the list of trademarks on Microsoft's website. https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RWArzw
  • "Windows" is a registered trademark
  • "Windows" , as well as variation as variation of it as "Windows server", "Windows NT" etcetera, are trademarks owned by Microsoft; even "Azure" is trademarked.
  • No, just no. For the simple reason that this is something large companies and Enterprises do not want. As they are MS's bread and butter, I'd give this (maybe) a 5% chance.
    Let these companies and Enterprises keep Windows 10 as is. Let consumers and Professionals that do want change to their OS get Sun Valley. Then, let the dust settle. See what the pros and cons of SV are and go from there. 5 years down the road, when many people are familiar with the SV UI, maybe, maybe move the Enterprise over.
  • Sorry for all the 'maybe's' :)
  • "For the simple reason that this is something large companies and Enterprises do not want"
    The majority of the life of Windows is based on version naming and it never seemed to be a problem. Even enterprise products have versioning built-in, so why is it such a problem suddenly in 2021?
  • Windows 13 is going to be a problem along with Win14 in some parts of the world. Windows 13A is just odd.
  • Nobody has a problem with iOS 13 tho.
  • I'm managing clients for a large organisation with several thousand Windows 10 clients, and I don't agree with you at all. I know, there are others of my kin that preach LTSB or what it's called now, or at the very least do all what they can to remove everything not W7 classic and so on. To lock the users into the IT departments vision of what the OS should be. Because, CONTROL. Stupid waste I say. I used to think like that. No more, it's BS. Why do this only apply to Windows? Why do windows need to be static? It's about doing management properly. We did an experiment with the release of W8. We posted a short notice on the intranet that 200 random users would get a new OS. And told them to contact us for support if they had any issues. The next week they started on Monday with 8. We heard nothing, two days later we started contacting people, and they were well at work, no problems. All we did was to make sure they saw their icons. After this we moved everyone to W8. (I actually got a Gandalf Style t-shirt from MS for being amongst the very first to deploy W8) and later W10, and we did not waste a single minute teaching anyone anything about the new OS before hand. Only gave 5 days notice. And our employees are not tech savvy. People today don't want locked down and gray. So why give them that? We don't lock down anything, we just enable the users to achieve what they need. Guess what, the helpdesk statistics shows we have less klient related issues today than we had with W7.
  • Hear hear! I am the IT manager at our company with hundreds of laptops and I push the same vision. Users these days are not dumb and are usually interested in learning digital skills, especially after the pandemic. Also Windows doesn’t break anymore when u move a wrong folder. We also don’t limit internet usage or streaming on the internal network, because otherwise they sit on their phone all say long and people are working more from home so bandwith is no issue at all. I hate those control obsessed IT dinosaurs
  • Coughstatefarmcough IT dinosaurs
  • I'd personally like to drop the number game and do letters like back in XP / NT days. (Obviously with its own acronym). But that's my 2 cents.
  • Drop the numbers. Windows Washington-State-Landmark-Name. Windows Redmond or Windows Columbia
  • Good luck having consumers understand which version is new and which one is old when it is not based on a logically ascending structure. Even macOS is based on a numerical system, the mountain names are nicknames that follow e.g. macOS 10.15 Catalina is it's actual name.
  • Like Windows NT, Windows ME, Windows XP and Windows Vista? Microsoft has done non numerical branding for Windows before. Besides, I guarantee the vast majority of Mac users don't know they're running macOS 10.15 Catalina, but they know they're running macOS. It's no different than just calling it Windows and having a numerical versioning. They could even go the Apple route and have a code name used as the version name. Windows Sun Valley version xxx, but with the branding of the OS as Windows instead of Windows 10.
  • That they did it before doesn't mean it wasn't bad. They also did the proper sequential versioning before with Windows 1, 2, 3.x, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 itself. So why is that even an argument?
  • Because he made the argument and I offered a rebuttal. macOS and ChromeOS are also relevant examples.
  • Technically Windows 10 already followed what Mac OS X did, which is Mac OS 10 not "X". There is subversion to differentiate between Mac OS X releases, which is what Windows 10 is doing now with things like 20H1, 20H2, etc. Then Mac OS X just have a nickname based on cats, then now mountains. Windows 10 though just have more boring and generic months+year naming that sometimes don't even align and you have to refer the year or else it is confusing between last year May and this year May update. I think Windows should just follow that naming convention of Mac OS X. But use a nickname that sounds more exciting for marketing hype. This keeps the Windows being a service in nature through its naming convention. But I think just drop the 10, just use nickname after it to differentiate between releases.
  • You can have the nickname and the version number and just market the nickname.
  • How about "Windows Xtreme"? /s
  • so Windows 10X is the best name ;)
  • I was in the "drop the number" camp at first, but it really makes no sense. Having an identifyer is important. "works with Windows" won't quite cut it. But more than the versions, they need to get windows to be great on desktop and tablets and new form factors.
    I was really excited about the Neo. Totally so.
    I saw the Duo as a nice add on.
    Now I have the Duo and the Neo might never come.
    The "one more thing" became the only thing.
    I fell like that's a bit of a let down. So, call it windows 11 or whatever they like best, but for the love of all that's good, make it a universal OS.
  • The version or build number would be the identifier. "Works with Windows (build/version xxx)" is no different than "works with Windows 10 (21H1/build number)."
  • 1. They should not remove Live Tiles. They are much better than stupid static icons.
    2. About speculation "if they made it a free update for Windows 10 users". I can't even imagine they would make it a paid update. It would be nonsense.
  • Yes, MS should just remove the Start menu and make it possible to pin live tiles on the desktop! Live tiles on the desktop would be pretty sick and honestly more useful than being hidden in Start.
  • Totally agree on Live Tiles. They worked on Windows Phone, because the home screen is more akin to the Windows PC Desktop than it is to the Start Menu. I've never understood the UI design logic for not even allowing Live Tiles on the desktop, especially since MS canned the old Gadgets at about the same time. Live Tiles were the logical successor to those.
  • I find full-screen start menu with live tiles to be better. I can open the menu without closing/minimizing any apps, and all apps are active when I close it. But ofcource, if they made the desktop appear over the apps exactly like the full screen menu when you pressed the button, fine by me.
  • Not sure what you mean by remove Start menu. Hopefully you don't mean to remove the actual menu, which know what that entails with Windows 8 approach, though technically it is Start menu, just full screen. But yeah, Live Tiles pinned on desktop should happen so it will be more useful. Also make a widget as well. Its odd Microsoft is moving to opposite direction while Apple is making more emphasis with widgets and Android is finally remember it has widgets and with Android 12, they are making changes to widget system that left unchanged since first Android.
  • Live Tiles are just function-less widgets. Either greatly increase the function, or get rid of them. As they are currently, they are nothing but an annoyance with very little utility.
  • That's why it's been asked countless times to make it a widget, which should be the final form of Live Tiles. Basically, Interactive Live Tiles that was once on the Microsoft Research demo. Live Tiles not getting used due to Microsoft not really trying to make it more useful. All while Apple have been making emphasis on their widgets and Google finally did something with their widget system that was left untouched since the first release of Android. It's just up to the developers to take advantage of that new system. As much as possible, I don't want to install any 3rd-party solution just to have something similar to "Live Tiles" like Rainmeter. Yet they still don't replicate everything since Live Tiles function are coming from their host apps. Rainmeter are mostly system information and some limited support to certain apps, all requires much fiddling that most people, even some enthusaist don't have time to deal with. Sometimes Rainmeter isn't even as robust as system-level Live Tile.
  • Live Tiles are much better than static icons. It's like a static icon + some useful (or not) info. Why they should get rid of them and replace by less functional static icons? That's just stupid.
    If Microsof will make Live Tiles more functional, it will be even better.
  • Heh, live tiles were one of the first things I disable when I did a fresh install of Windows.
  • There is no reason to change the name, it will only create confusion. Every app that lists itself as compatible with Windows 10 will need to update itself, and since there is no major underlying change to Windows 10 in the future update, there will be no new compatibility or break in previous compatibility. Unless some software has been obsoleted and won't work on today's Windows 10, then it is pointless to change the branding except to satisfy a random urge to match Mac OS's version number. In addition to that the next Windows update is a free seamless update to everyone with Windows 10, and calling it Windows 11 would imply something else completely.
  • "There is no reason to change the name, it will only create confusion."
    72% of the world is on Android and I don't see mass hysteria from yearly OS upgrades with new versioning numbers, even if that update is often, technically, kind of minor. Apple iPhone users seem to be able to handle iOS 13.4 when jumping from iOS 13.3.
  • > 72% of the world is on Android and I don't see mass hysteria from yearly OS upgrades I don't know what world you are living in, but 99.9% of these Android users do not see "yearly OS upgrades".
  • Because they buy a new phone (for $150) every two years. I like the idea that my assortment of Surface Pro devices will update with new versions of Windows 10. But I also realize that hardware does improve and as much as I like my Surface GO, it is annoyingly slow to open and start using.
  • I think they should do what Apple does. Call it Windows 10 Sun Valley and then a new name for the next update
  • Why do we need new versions of Windows? It is legacy only. No need to do anymore work. It is done. Just keep it secure going forward and remove some of the useless stuff added in Windows 10 to make it more like Windows 7.
  • I agree WIndows10 is done... in that... it works and does what we need it to do. Just keep it secure... It's a good Utilitarian OS. The future is in other experiences.... Microsoft just needs to make sure they can moneterize something (software as services, services as services) on those experiences... to keep the machine going...
  • They will have a hard time keeping Office and other software relevant without a strong platform on their side. No one is buying a Chromebook or iPad to run Office. They will lose some software reach without a new platform.
  • Developers should do away with named versions and stick with numbers. Sun Valley, Leopard, XP, Vista. What do any of these mean? Nobody knows without looking it up. 1, 2, 3 4, or 20H2, 21H1, 21H2, etc are all easy to understand. This is why I hate Xbox naming scheme as well. Xbox One X, Xbox Series X, Boxing Ring Triple X Extreme. What does that mean? No idea. PS1 - PS5 is easy to understand.
    It's like a 12 year old, named XxSlayerxX is in charge of the Xbox marketing department.
  • "Microsoft was stupid for saying "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows" back when it did because it backs the company into a corner that is unnecessary for it to be in. You should never say never."
    As opposed to how necessary it is to rename 21H2 to Windows 11. :)
  • I think we all know Microsoft will rebrand away from the name “Windows” entirely.
  • Are you sure you're not the only one "knowing" this?
  • "I think we all know Microsoft will rebrand away from the name “Windows” entirely."
    I can't sign on to that and know of no one credible who believes it to the be the case.
  • We all know what happened to the Coca-Cola Company with New Coke.
  • They can keep Windows and have something new that isn’t Windows, right? Why does everything have to be Windows? That make sets a precedent that a new platform can’t meet.
  • No one is confirming about that.
  • 👍 🤘 Yes, Windows 11 is the clearest (near) future for the Windows operating system. As the amount of release versions of Windows 10 keeps piling up and differing from each others more, the new version series (Windows 11) will make it all easier also for support – including but not limited to the Microsoft support community (answers.microsoft.com).
  • Some facts in article are incorrect. Apple did not drop the OS X brand with Big Sur. It has happened several years ago and it is called just macOS since then. In Big Sur they have increased the version number from 10.15 to 11.00, but it is not something that is mentioned in any marketing material. It is rather a technical detail, not a brand change, the brand change has happened years ago.
  • Do you believe Sun Valley will be that good to even think on a new version number? I hope so. Imagine resizing a window without those black areas, gracefully maximizing a window or entering task view, animations responding to gestures. Just that would bring Win10 to 2021.
  • I think a new version would help, it'd also be easy to just name it Windows 21 and peg future releases to the year. I'm hoping that they offer a free version that is restricted to the Store and a paid version that allows traditional installation. It'd lower device costs and protect people by default. I know the Store policy is changing, but one can hope.
  • Windows 10 + Windows 10X = Windows X! (Moveover MacOS X!)
  • No, that would be more like Windows^2 10(1+x)
  • I dunno but windows central latest artciles proposals to naming are even worse than microsoft current naming. Editors like the increasing number of visitors and creates "thinking aloud" every two days. Imo this is lame.
  • Are you people corporate bootlicking morons? Who wrote this God-forsaken article? We don't need Windows 11. Windows 10 is fine. All they need to do is work on this operating system and improve it until the end of time. If you don't like a feature, you should have the ability to change it. Making brand new operating systems from the ground up just so you can get a spiffy new logo? How stupid is that? Do you even realize the amount of work it takes in creating a stable kernel? Windows 10 works fine. Stop begging for a new version of windows. You're like the dumbass people that bitched at Microsoft to make a new OS when Windows XP was around, and look what happened, they flopped out Windows 8, what an atrocity. Be HAPPY with Windows 10, I don't need a whole new operating system to purchase. Not all of us are well to do millionaires that can shell out money every time you get that itch to make us pay for some stupid service. What kind of dumb crap is that? What exactly is wrong with Windows 10? And if you crave another operating system, why not try out Ubuntu? Why make Windows 11 just so poor people have to go out and shell out another 100 or 200 dollars for an operating system? What kind of sense does that make? I like the notion of "Windows 10 is the last Windows we will make, and we will continue to upgrade this OS forever as long as we exist as a company"
  • So, you didn't read the acticle, did you?
  • Wholly agree, I don't want to be harsh but I don't want to mask my opinion either, I think it's a terrible article... it's really fanboyism to discuss UI and name changes, trivial changes that have to do more with marketing than anything else. Really now, what's wrong with the current name and just updating it (similar to how macOS has been updated for many years).
    If you look at the bio of the person who wrote the article you could make the generalization that he's a M$ fanboy who only knows their products superficially and just consooms product. Who else could justify making a completely new OS just to have a flashy new logo? :/ The main issues with creating a new stable kernel is keeping some sort of legacy support with it, and this adds all the problems.
    Change for the sake of change is ridiculously ineffective and expensive in the long run (I'm glad I wasn't a IT technician when Windows 8 rolled out, what a nightmare that was). I support the idea of using a Linux distro for general web browsing and office use (what almost every general user does on their PC), because it's free and won't slow down over time like Windows does, plus you can revive old Core 2 Duo PCs and use them just as well as you could years ago with current software. Plus it doesn't hoard personal data like M$ Windows does.
  • You didn't read the article too, did you? Can you point out where Zac said in the article that Microsoft needs to build new OS?
  • I don't see a Windows 11 branding. Why do people keep confusing the Windows 10 branding with versions of Windows? Windows under the Windows 10 branding has seen a lot of versions. I can see getting rid of the 10 and just calling the OS "Windows" for branding purposes. That makes total since and we should never have seen Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or 10. They should have all been called "Windows". Web searches should be able to look for specific versions of "Windows" by searching on "Windows version 10.21" where 10 is the main version and 21 is the year of the release. That being said, all the Windows 10 versions have continually, slowly, and maddingly, made slow and minor tweaks to the OS almost like an experiment to see what causes people to get mad and what does not. Sun Valley needs to be a complete overhaul of the UI and not done one screen or program at a time over years. Office and other MS programs not included with Windows should have releases that address and UI, compatibility, and performance issues to support the Windows Sun Valley version within a couple of months. That means project reunion should be done prior to Sun Valley for all Windows developers to make use of as Sun Valley releases. Why is this so hard!
  • "Sun Valley needs to be a complete overhaul of the UI and not done one screen or program at a time over years. Office and other MS programs not included with Windows should have releases that address and UI, compatibility, and performance issues to support the Windows Sun Valley version within a couple of months. That means project reunion should be done prior to Sun Valley for all Windows developers to make use of as Sun Valley releases. Why is this so hard!" The last time I checked, that's what they're working towards to.
    Windows Terminal, PowerToy, WSL, Project Reunion, UI overhaul -> Sun Valley
  • I just want it to stay "Windows 10" (or simply "Windows") for the sake of simplicity and for MS honoring at least one of its statements "This is the last version of Windows," but this is pretty low on my priority list for MS. I don't think the arguments of a progressive public version (Windows 7, 8, 10, etc.) hold water: we've all been getting along just fine on Windows 10 with its twice-a-year upgrades for the past half decade with no mass confusion. Winver shows the technical version number and that can keep on progressing exactly as it does today. Older versions of Windows are out of mainstream support, so nearly everyone running Windows today who is also installing new hardware or software is on Windows 10. Effectively, today there is only "Windows." I understand the trademark need for a compound term, so just stick with Windows 10.
  • No. Just no. What's wrong with gradual improvements rather than a big change that will be buggier and also a lot pf people are also going to have problem jumping ship? Now that finally after years people are starting to love Windows 10, they should AGAIN, leave their community behind, a community that was promised Windows 10 forever? I'm pretty sure not many people are going to be happy and switch again, and they will probably jump ship to Chrome or Mac if this happens.
  • Did you actually read the article? This is not a Windows rewrite. It's simply a change of name for the Sun Valley update.,which is just another update for windows this time with some UI improvements
  • The main reason for date numbering in Office, Server, and other programs is the planned obsolescence: when the name is a few years old, you feel compelled to upgrade. This is the OPPOSITE of the goal with a service-based platform. This is why Microsoft 365 does NOT have a year or version number. IF Windows is to continue to get free updates, unless there is a radical change to supported hardware or function such that a new name helps clarify which hardware is supported, complicating the message around Windows with a major marketing campaign around the name will actually DAMAGE the brand by confusing the Windows as a service and continual improvement message. Plus, Windows 10 is generally well-regarded. A new Windows is a reason for people to reconsider their PC and possibly switch to Mac (whenever a group of long-term customers is given cause to reconsider their "normal," some % of them will change). As the 80 market-share holder, MS has much more to lose than to gain with such a move. Yes, "Windows 11" would get more press than "A big new update to Windows," but for all the users and customers who are not waiting with baited breath and excitement for each Windows update like we are, it also creates panic. Instead, stick to Windows 10, do the marketing around how Windows keeps getting better. Focus on the improved features and Windows as a service. Don't break off in some radical new direction just for the extra press coverage in the month of launch. This isn't Windows Phone that needed press coverage to gain users. This is the largest, most widely used PC OS in the world.
  • Exactly. The article comes at it solely as a consumer and misses Windows mostly sells to businesses.
  • Yup, and businesses don't need anything else in Windows. It is time to stop development and move on. Keep security updates coming and nothing else.
  • You are a dumb person.
  • You think Microsoft can successfully change Windows without bringing the stigma and legacy forward while not upsetting their base? Sounds near impossible to me. Windows is Windows, changing that stigma will be very challenging. You have any actual thoughts or just mindless attacks?
  • What a nonsense. Corporate & power users love stuff like WSL and you want to keep such features away from them.
  • Windows has variety of users.
    79% of Windows install base are consumers. Most them are Developers, Engineers, Designers, Content Creators, Gamers etc. These set of people requires update and improvement. The developers that keep building for this platform needs improvement toolkits and tooling to improve development or they would abandonee the platform (It's already happening). You wouldn't except Microsoft to fold their arms and watch other platforms improves why they abandonee Windows. Microsoft can't build their business without OS. They can't rely on Google or Apple. To avoid EPIC situation 😉
  • You've I've major thing Windows 10 HD Microsoft 365 are services. That's the whole point. Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and MacOS aren't services. You're asking Microsoft to reverse successful service of theirs. Every IT department globally also hated the 3 year re-release of Windows. It was a major project for man hours and cost. I agree they need to come up with a good way to market Sun Valley because many people have kind of forgotten about Windows except when they're using their work laptop.
  • As far as the "Last version of Windows" bit is concerned, that, from a certain point of view, hasn't been true with even Windows 10. As someone who works in IT, whether or not someone is running Windows 10 isn't enough information in some situations. 20H2 is incredibly different from the first version of Windows 10. As a result of this, even if they do the name change, I think as long as they continue the whole free upgrade thing, they can get away with it without breaking their word any more than they have already. I mean if they rolled Sun Valley out as just Windows 10 21H2, how would it be any different if it was the same OS, just called Windows 11? The big concern for me in all of this is that Microsoft is apparently keeping Sun Valley as secret as Windows 8. I can't help but think that Windows 8 wouldn't have been so, well, Windows 8 had they brought in a little more consumer input.
  • The ONLY thing that matters is creating a slick sexy sassy OS that would make a Mac user say, "Not bad." THAT is all that matters.
  • Windows 11???? Nah. Not 11.
  • If Sun Valley is as big of an update as it's being hinted at then branding it Windows 11 is the right move.
  • Now that 10X is dead, it is clear that MS has seen the bleeding obvious. They CAN'T change Windows too much, because the customers who matter - businesses - won't buy it. Remember, the last time MS made huge changes to Windows was Windows 8. How well did that sell? Microsoft needs to seriously stop trying to "modernize" Windows. It is hopeless. Windows needs to go into permanent maintenance mode. Windows needs to continue to do what it has always done. The way it has always done it. The twice yearly updates are neither needed nor wanted by BUSINESSES. Who - as we all know - are the only customers who matter. Or, Microsoft should port Win32 to Linux, call that Windows 11 and retire the creaking, antique, barnacle-encrusted Windows code base. Unix/Linux is the present, and the future. It is portable. It is modular. It runs on everything from Mainframes to PCs to ALL phones. Windows is none of the above. And never will be. Apple has ported OS X twice: from Power PC to Intel to ARM. Why? Because it is modular, portable Unix. Meanwhile, MS is STILL trying to get Windows 100% running on ARM. Why? Because it is monolithic, non-portable Windows.
  • With all due respect, you're just throwing around random buzzwords ("portable", "modular", "monolithic") without actually knowing what they mean. You conflate UNIX/Linux as if they were the same thing (fun fact, Linux does not even descend from UNIX) and pretend that macOS "is UNIX" as if they were one and the same. Windows was just as capable as Linux of running on phones. Windows has been running on ARM for nine years. The problem has always been getting developers to bother porting existing software to ARM, that has nothing to do with it being "monolithic". Everyone has been free to develop all kinds of Windows software (not just UWP) for ARM for years.
  • True! Well said!
  • Stop comparing kernels to full blown OS's. Windows NT is already modular/portable. What do you think Windows Phone/Mobile ran on?
  • Might be too young. Windows 95 was a really big change and was really well liked.
  • Mac OS is not a UNIX based OS. It's based on XNU which is a hybrid kernel developed by NeXT for the NeXTSTEP operating system a descendent of BSD. Windows 10 is based on Windows NT which as well is a hybrid kernel.
    A hybrid kernel attempts to combine aspects and benefits of microkernel and monolithic kernel architectures. Windows NT is a good as XUN and Linux. You've forgotten that Windows ran on these platform architectures: DEC Alpha, Itanium, MIPS, PowerPC, IA-32, x86-64, ARM and ARM64 By the way Linux is a monolithic kernel.
  • Very interesting. Thanks
  • This suggestion seems at odds with the whole "Windows as a Service" thing. As for getting people excited about something new in Windows, I don't think you do that by giving it a new name. You do that by making it better. My two cents.
  • one day they will call it ; Windows Cloud, because the CEO love it.
  • I think the next one they do will be called Windows. This will allow them to update it endlessly without the stigma of a number.... I just hope they start from scratch and don't just copy and paste 90% of all the previous versions of Windows. It would be nice to see gaming get a proper mode that uses way fewer system resources than it currently does. Hell I'd be happy if they put the entire Xbox OS on it and allowed a sideboot kind of options for integration. Steam is rumored to be coming to consoles anyway so they might as well. Along with full Android app support for apps and Stores.
  • It wouldn't be Windows if they built a new OS from scratch.
  • If they build a new OS from scratch, it better not be called Windows.
  • It's being called Windows 10x coming to a bunch of Surface devices in 2022 😊
  • The most successful commercial product by Microsoft is Office and it is just called : Microsoft 365, it is a service and updated permanently. I do not understand why the same could not be good for Windows.
  • At the risk of creating Yet Another Release Naming schema, it always seemed like Windows 10 would have benefited from returning to their yearly named releases (also subtly reminding everyone of their rise to dominance). It's an utter headache to track where Microsoft is at with Windows development in insider builds. Is it Redstone v4.svn2983941-20H5-1999-2001-spaceodyssey? Who knows, it was like their version and release naming was designed by people that wanted to make sure they'd never be fired being the only people that actually understood it. I very much like moving beyond the failures widely perceived in Windows 10 branding, but I fear that simply calling it Windows would back them into the very same corner they're in now with the 'last version' nonsense (internal builds would still use release numbers in some way). I humbly suggest MS adopt some user friendly adaption of Ubuntu's yearly naming method, something like:
    Windows YYYY with code name referenced internally by applications and on build release notes YYYY.M.RELEASE. Marketing could continuously use the predictable major release name of Windows 2021 for instance, while internally in the OS it could be referred to as Windows 2021.9.1. No Redstone, no Halo references, no bizarre YYHR string. All numeric-only goodness with the benefit of time's inertia moving forward driving and hyping each new release without even attempting (and in MS's case most often failing) to be clever. In any case, a public show of moving beyond the failed and outdated Windows 10 Master Plan of yesteryear could also signal to OEMs, vendors, developers and consumers alike that they're also up for moving beyond other failed ideas that up until now have been taken as dogma. How a company could start with the Windows 7 codebase and completely screw up every single OS deliverable for a decade is still kind of shocking when you contemplate it, but even in spite of that they're still the best game in town for OS platform, development, and ubiquity, so I'm confident if they can finally fire everyone who ever OK'd Metro/UWP, they would once again dominate the industry. As much as I dislike the Surface Duo, and that's mostly from a lackluster hardware standpoint, I think it shows the beginning of a successful path where Microsoft goes forward with Android on mobile devices and Windows on computers where people do actual work.
  • So now that everyone is dreaming some suggestions (there might be some irony here)
    Windows Area51
    Windows Juggernaut
    Windows Ultimate
    Windows NextGen
    Windows Holos
    Windows Empire
    Windows Max
    Windows Colossus
    Windows Extreme
    Windows 666 Rel 2
    Windows 10000
    Windows EMC2
    Windows Elysian
  • Unless they switch to ARM, nail their own silicon, get better developer support, they are probably already dead. Windows is irrelevant in today's world.
  • I'm okay for integrated any articles in windows for Windows 10. (Edge and Office)
    For Windows 11, we see after.
    Maybe.
  • Difficult to kill Internet Explorer and Ios 14.5 for create Windows 10X and Windows 11.
  • 10X has already been canceled.
  • Why not One Windows? This can look better in all of their software products IMHO. The Windows will become One Windows, Microsoft Office to One Office (Word, Excel, Note (remove 'One' here), etc.), One Drive, One Teams, Microsoft Store will become One Microsoft Store, and so on. They can also call the Microsoft Account, One Microsoft since one account can use in all of their products. Also, this Sun Valley UI changes look like Android Material Design which this site also imagine https://obtera.com/tag/onewindows/ with some other interesting concepts. Have a look.
  • I personally find "One" in frost of everything to be really ugly, stupid and grammatically nonsensical. If it wasn't for that stupid lawsuit with Sky, this wouldn't even be on the table.
  • I think a rename/branding is warranted provided there are significant improvements. A lot of people don't realize Windows 10 keeps on improving. They are running like a version from 2018 (locked down by their IT department). Comment on death of Windows 10X. I think this is fine. Car manufactures will invest millions into prototype race cars. They have their elite engineers design, build and race these cars, but they never intend to sell them. They instead take what they learned and work that into their mainstream products. I think Windows 10X is like that. If they work in what they learned from Windows 10X into their mainstream product, that will be worth the effort of 10X.
  • so that is a reason for using cancelled system name for new operating system. "Windows 10X". Howgh.
  • 😂 you do realize Windows 10x is already being used in that product 😂
  • Windows 10 does not need anything added. They should simplify it a bit to be more like Windows 7 and stop development. Keep it updated with security updates and nothing else. That is all people need in Windows going forward. Any changes they make to Windows 10 will not make a difference, it is on a path that cannot be changed. Put all development efforts into something new and don't call it Windows. Only release new apps and experiences on this new platform. Keep at it for years, it will take time for people to move off Windows. Don't give up. Something will eventually replace Windows and Microsoft can choose to make it themselves or wait until someone else does.
  • MS doesn't have Courage to do that.
  • Just rename it to Windows 7 SP3
  • Horrible idea! Right now Microsoft has to focus on getting developers back and using project Reunion before any branding shenanigans that will cause FUD.
  • Microsoft needs to rename GNU\Linux (UNIX) background drivers from daemons to services. I can't stand that naming convention. Then, Microsoft needs to scrap MS Windows and redesign their OS so it is based on GNU\Linux or UNIX. DirectX probably needs to be trashed in favor in Vulkan and OpenGL. DirectAudio can probably stay but ASIO needs to be brought to GNU\Linux and Steinberg needs to port Cubase to GNU\Linux. The audio latency issues in GNU\Linux needs to be solved so that professional audio recording is just as reliable in GNU\Linux as it is in MS Windows but Jack and ALSA probably need to remain with DirectAudio maybe running underneath Jack and alongside ALSA as a possible alternative. Visual Studio, MS Office and Power BI all need to be ported to GNU\Linux. The MPEG licensing issues need to be resolved in the GNU\Linux platform even those that play DVDs or generate media content even though there are good *free* alternatives now like Google VP9 and Ogg Vorbis. BitLocker needs to be brought to Ext4 and NFTS probably needs to be trashed. The Microsoft Disk Manager probably needs to be replaced with GNome Disk and *finally* Microsoft needs to get formally behind Wine and outright endorse it as a way to run older Windows programs that no longer run correctly or efficiently on modern MS Windows platforms. I'm sorry to say all of this but Modern MS Windows is starting to get "lousy". Windows 8.0 was (believe it or not) pretty good, but modern Windows 10 is: slow to update; has compatibility issues with older programs/hardware; seems to use more resources that it really needs; and, mysteriously hits my hard drives without good reason. I did apply to work at Microsoft a little while back because I am *still* fond of .NET Core; Azure AD; MS SQL Server; Haskell (Daddy of F#); Microsoft Peripherals and Games; but, Windows 10 no longer feels like a serious OS to me. Instead, if feels rather sloppy. My biggest regret regarding GNU\Linux is that it names its background drivers daemons. I've tried contacting the Free Software Foundation (FSF) about this a few times (to include the legendary RMS) and I haven't gotten very far. If we can rename the Git Master branch to something else, surely we can rename daemons to something that is more friendly to believers of Christ. I'm sorry for the grammar errors, I have to get to my day job... Best, Shawn
  • I do not understand why MSFT should build a new OS based on Linux. A large investment for no material return.
  • Pull the band-aid off. Dump control panel. Things have been migrating away from it for years.
  • Windows 10 Pro is a good name. Sun Valley interesting but Windows 10X is the to Future.
  • SImply "Microsoft Windows" XD
    I want them to improve Download Page of Windows OS ,
    it looks and feels like we are downloading some third class cheap software. They should make the first impression of "Sun Valley" through download page ,
    MAKE IT MODERN AND COOL --> I hope this all goes well
  • The "10" in Windows 10 is completely irrelevant and doesn't tell you anything. There's no point in changing it to 11. It would be just as pointless. At this point the better choice would be to just remove that meaningless number all together, calling it simply "Windows". The XXHX versioning will remain for the techies who need them. Modern apps don't put version numbers in their names and I don't see why Operating Systems can't adopt the same.
  • Nothing else to add. So simple.
  • Having a public identifier for the version is needed. Imagine typing in "How to solve X problem on Windows" and you get results for Windows 10 RTM in 2015 mixed with Windows XP results and the newest results as well
  • End of discussion!
  • As a percentage of Internet users, Android has 1.6bn users to Windows' 1.5bn. Android overtook Windows in 2017. I strongly believe that if MS had stuck to its guns in developing a truly universal os with continuum built in at its very "core" and telephony a pluggable component part, these numbers would have been very different. I really do think that's where Windows should be headed - a truly universal os - and its not too late, nor would I imagine it too difficult. Afterall there's now a full version of the os running on ARM and it's still named Windows. The issue of naming schemes wouldn't have even come up.