Speaking during the Ignite conference held earlier this week, Microsoft developer evangelist Jerry Nixon revealed the company's plans for Windows:
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 Microsoft is no going to launch future versions of Windows after Windows 10. Instead, it looks like the manufacturer is going to start offering "Windows as a service", with frequently-scheduled updates that continually evolve the operating system. In a statement to The Verge, Microsoft said:
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.
We aren't speaking to future branding at this time, but customers can be confident Windows 10 will remain up-to-date and power a variety of devices from PCs to phones to Surface Hub to HoloLens and Xbox. We look forward to a long future of Windows innovations.
We're already seeing how this may be implemented with security updates. Microsoft announced that it would end its monthly security update release cycle, called Patch Tuesday, instead delivering updates as soon as they are ready.
With Windows 10, the Redmond giant has designed core Windows utilities such as the Start Menu and built-in apps in such a way that they can be updated independently to the operating system. Microsoft has done so to facilitate a device-agnostic approach, which makes sense as the company is targeting Windows 10 to be a unified operating system — with a universal app store — spanning across several form factors including phones, tablets and PCs.