Windows 10 dubbed 'the last version of Windows' as Microsoft rethinks the operating system

Windows 10
Windows 10

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 not 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.

Source: Microsoft (Ignite); Via: The Verge

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.

  • So the alleged Redstone update, it will still be called Windows 10?
  • Ya that will be called windows 10 GDR27........
  • It would be called windows 10 Minecrap
  • 10.1 maybe?
  • exactly! windows 10.1 - 10.2.... that makes sense.
  • Or may be "Windows 10 - Build 10xxx"
  • Maybe it will be Windows 10 version 10.1, and then 10.2, 10.3, up to 10.∞ .... (infinite number of minor version) .... :p
  • And instead of using cat names, they'll use dog names like Wolf, Coyote, Hyena, etc.  :)
  • The number will become less important. When the kernel jumps to 11.x it's just another update and most people won't think about it, and everyone will just be updated. Windows will just be called Windows. We've known this for a year people.
  • Yep that's right windows is WINDOWS people will die to buy it..
  • What do you mean?
  • Earlier people used to differentiate windows say XP,vista,7,8. By becoming service it can be one Windows,though there will be different versions coming through update. People will keep their windows updated..
  • I was talking about "people will die to buy it". I didn't know if you were misunderstanding and mocking me.
  • It was my opinion not mocking you...
  • My guess, this is the real reason they jumped to "10", to be the equivalent of OS "X". With that being said, it's probably safe to say that code names will continue, also similar t the OS X model. (ie. Mavericks, Yosemite, etc.)
  • the OS becomes a Service? what about performence optimizations.
  • Basically they want to make Windows 10 into Mac OSX.
  • Good for apple then if they just lower the price of macbooks they would have good sales with windows 10.
  • I won't buy Mac book when there are Surface pro...
  • Win OS X :P
  • Pretty much. Making it less about "Great gadzooks! We just released this AMAZING new version of Windows! That'll be $200," they'll adopt what Apple is doing and just do more frequent but also much smaller updates. Basically the transition from 8 -> 8.1 as opposed to 7 -> 8, 7 to 8 was a huge transition, 8.1 was more refinement of what was already there. It seems Microsoft will just be continuing to do smaller .1 updates for the time being, as they become ready.
  • Yeah windows 8.1 is basically windows 9. It's what 7 was to Vista. That's why windows 10.
  • I read a comment that make some sense to me:
    windows 9 could conflict with applications made for windows 9x (windows 95, 98, me), a way to avoid tons of unexpected bugs is avoiding the number 9.
    it make a lot more sense than everything I read so far.
  • Actually, it's Windows 10 because 7, 8, 9 lol
  • Excellent choice by Microsoft.
  • +iPhone 6.
  • +Nexus 6
  • + new Lumia flagship coming soon.
  • +3310
  • +Nature is beautiful, quiet, and serene,
    nature is the forest, with its many shades of green.
    Nature is the birds, welcoming in the dawn,
    nature is a calf, struggling to its feet as soon as it is born.
    Nature is a salmon, swimming against the stream,
    nature is a volcanic geyser, venting off steam.
  • +1020
  • +1320 with broken microphone
    p.s replacing it later!
  • +520 XL
  • +930 with broken microphone as well...
  • + Moto X
  • + Landline Telephone
  • +Two Cans & a String. +Smoke Signal Backup Device for long distance calling
  • +Damn you people and yeah +730  
  • + cups and string
  • +Yelling
  • +birdie
  • +Ouija Board
  • +Toaster Running Windows TP Limited Edition
  • +720
  • +Message in a bottle
  • +Jedi mind trick
  • + telegraph device
  • +5110 Nokia reboot!
  • +Dead Sea Scrolls
  • +Amaterasu
  • +Why is this a thing?
  • .--. .-.. ..- ... / -- --- .-. ...
  • +sweet nothings
  • +morse code
  • +pen and paper
  • Vulcan Mind Meld
  • Someone called?
  • + 2 girls & 1 cup
  • +Carrier Pigeon
  • +HoloLens
  • +batphone
  • +7 8 9
  • Hahaha lmbo! +Get A Life.
  • A bold statement
  • Given their track record on promises I would say this won't happen. Microsoft always promises something then fails to deliver. Just look at windows phone, biggest lie ever. Look at their conferences from 2013 and what they achieve in 2014, then look at the 2014 conferences and you will pretty know by now that they failed also for 2015.. I am getting sick of the elephant in the room.
  • This will end up being "The last version of Windows" Developer Preview.
  • Disappointment is mostly caused by a high expectation
  • Poor soul - so why are you still following posts on this website - or maybe using Microsoft products in your daily life?
  • Care to elaborate?
  • Steam OS is that way ->
    Best of luck with that.
  • What promises are you talking about?
  • Maybe it's just perception. Sometimes I'd rather they don't show any of their products or "vision of the future" until it's almost ready for release. It creates this high expectation and waiting game that usually disappoints due to half baked features or back stepping on their vision.
  • Well get out of the room then. And stop calling yourself fat.
  • It sure is I don't know how the future is going to be
  • May be full of suprises
  • Or just people shifting to other os
  • Shifting to what?
  • Shifting to Ubuntu.
  • :D :D
  • So hold out for the next one then?
  • I'll believe it when they change yo name to just 'Windows'
  • It's like Facebook. There is no Facebook 2,3 or 4. A service. It make sense to call it just Windows if Microsoft is going that way.
  • They need Windows users, all the way down to XP, to start using Windows 10, before they can call it just "Windows." If they did it now, people would be confused, but in a few years, Windows might mean the same as Mac / OSX does to people.
  • I think it will confuse people anyway so it would be better to just do it now and have it be done rather then wait till the target audience is "ready"
  • Naah ... Rebranding from Windows 10 to Windows is not really confusing when no other version Windows is available (at least in the supported lines). Because at that time, when people said Windows, they are talking about Windows 10. If they did it now, when people said Windows, people will still asking which Windows. The old 7, 8, 8.1, or the service ones (the 10).
  • So it will be like a rolling release of Linux. No version number but the components keep getting updated.
  • I agree! I guess that too eventually they will just call it just Windows. Currently it has to be called Windows 10 just to differentiate different versions of Windows that still many people use like 7, XP, 8, and Vista to avoid general confusion. Just like popular web browser such as Chrome, I bet most people don't know what is the latest version of it, they just install it and let it update in the background.
    Still I think Windows may have some few codeame major updates or something to call it like the upcoming Redstone update. Also Windows will still likely change the version number but will not have public announcement about the version, or they can go like OS X versioning. Even since Windows 7 didn't have version 7, instead it got 6.1 which is a minor bump from Vista 6.0 version and then Windows 8 got 6.2 but these are major OS release anyways.
  • Call it Windows 2016 Ultimate Home Edition Release 2
  • This topic will definitely confuse those ppl who only read the header
  • Someone finally understood it!
  • Haha...I was thinking the same...for a moment I thought there will be no windows OS after win10...
    Anyway its a real good choice made by MS and I think m not wrong in guessing that now windows will spread like a wildfire...
  • Lolz.
  • Microsoft may call this as their last windows but maybe after 10-15 years of Windows 10 they will change the name to windows 25 or 30. Once they see their competitors at that time trying compete Microsoft. Windows 10 is the OS by which Microsoft wants their enterprise users to upgrade because they are the one who are always hard to be convinced to upgrade from whom Microsoft earn money.
  • This is where its at. Windows delivered basically like chrome seamless upgrades you're not even told about. Continuous development
  • It's definitely one of the worse things about Windows. It takes forever for them to update the OS, and when they do, it's a huge overhaul, and it's either a hit or miss. If they can just update it as they go, people won't be worried about a bad or good version of Windows. It'll just adapt to what people like and don't like.
  • Chrome gets many updates but its mainly for the spyware and malware freely included!
  • Ahh spyware infected by spyware. Sounds like Google is jealous.
  • That is basically how XP evolved and still around I think it's nearing 15 years of age.
  • Microsoft 30...I'll be waitin
  • For those who doesnt get it. Windows 10 will be the last ever version of Windows it will continue to evolve overtime by patches and by core updates on the system they are still planning on how to update each and every part of the OS so that you wont install a full version of the operating system if there is an update. As an example the process right now on insider builds. New builds = reinstall again the operating. So what they plan is to update the core files separately if there is an update for the UX/UI of the start screen the start screen will be updated not the whole OS. This is a great step for Microsoft to eliminate the the fragmentation of their OS Marketshare. On the history of Windows every 3-4 years they will release a new operating system XP -> Vista -> 7 -> 8 for example.  After releasing a new OS Microsoft will invite those customers running an older version of windows this is the loop they are in until they announced 10. This will result a unified and one OS across so no one will left behind. Imagine for the next 5 - 10 years people still running Windows 10 that evolves and adapts overtime. I just dont know if they will charge on future updates on the platform.
  • I like the way you put it, hopefully these idiots will now understand what Microsoft are doing. I think it's great news for the user, one that can beat competition as its relay updating and evolving, instead of big laps of time. One system across all device run like this will unify and work give it 2 years and big named developers will be making apps first on Windows!
  • Between reading your comment, I purchased two android phones and sold one in OLX!
  • It's not about now. Anyway, you failed to understand the post above and it made you look like a .... ;)
  • What about paying for these updates. Surely MS has to have contributing sales of some sort for windows OS. I mean it is their cash cow... I think.
  • I would rather think MS will introduce a annual or monthly fee model, at least for Business users.
  • I remember reading somewhere that they have trademarked Windows365. So my guess is that after the first year of free Windows upgrades, people who buy de novo a copy of Windows will have to opt for a subscription based model. Windows is still a licensed paid software. Its only free for OEMs who use screens upto 9 inches. Any thing above that would have to be paid for. One of the reasons for MS pushing Win32 programs to be converted to APPX would be to take a claim from the revenues of the program (similar to how Modern apps work in the Store today) which would be tremendous if it does make the cut. AFAIK the free part is only for the consumer version of the OS. I think Windows Server would still have to be licensed via KMS or VLK as has been before. I don't see Microsoft merging consumer and server together anytime soon.
  • Nope. You pay for it once for a device and it won't cost you anything after that. Curious to see how that plays out with people who upgrade their PCs. I'd guess that makes up such a small percentage of users MS should allow great deal of tolerance for changing hardware
  • Translator detected
  • for the first year means no pay... period.. even after the first year once it's installed. Think Android... the OS is free they make money in other ways.  
  • I believe the cost of Windows will be included in the cost of the device. Kind of how phones and tablets are done. OEMs pay for the OS, and the end user gets to recieve updates for new versions for however long they are viable to run on the hardware. Of course PCs are so powerful that this would mean updates as long as the device lasts. And if someone buys a PC with DOS then they would need to pay for a one-time Windows purchase. But I think DOS PCs will go away with this model. Considering that OEMs pay next to nothing with Windows + Bing package.
  • I agree, but I was told a long time ago that Microsoft wanted to start selling Windows as a subscription. I believe that the model has started with Office 365. People will have to pay every month /year instead of a one time purchase. Or they can do like Apple and change a higher price for the hardware and say that the cost is built in and charge $30 for the updates.
  • I doubt anyone would buy an OS with an subscription. Office 365 is optional because many people don't use Office, so it works there. But a system can't run without an OS and Microsoft is (hopefully) smarter than to shoot themselves in the foot like that.
  • I believe that the promise will be just like Office 365. You pay every month and the operating system is kept up to date. Companies are now using the SaaS model by charging other businesses to use their systems. The more you use, the more you pay. I don't know, but I won't be surprised if it happens that way.
  • Microsoft's theme at Ignite this week is not the devices or OS so much but the experience and the ability to unify and easily transition the experience between devices regardless of what that device is. This is only possible with the cloud and Windows as a service ties into that. I was impressed with Microsoft's vision and would have no issue with this direction, one way or another you're still going to pay for the OS.
  • Went from 7-8-10 in what? About 5 years? Yea, I'd say give it a rest.
  • What's next? Walls? Doors? Stairs?
  • No no no. It's curtains.
  • +beams,coloumns...
  • Why do i have a feeling this CEO will crash Microsoft eventually
  • Even I was feeling the same but after listening to what they've said at Build, I think this strategy is good in the long term. If companies don't flex up and insist on closed ecosystems, then the oppurtunities to reach out to many people will become lesser and lesser and that is something Microsoft would definitely want to avoid.
  • Maybe because you're short sighted?
  • Maybe it will just be like the Windows Server, they put a year on the version it is on. Example, Windows 10 2016. In that way, when people purchase a copy from the store, that is the latest version of Windows 10. People dont want to install windows update from 2015 to 2020, when they buy a Windows 2020 in that year, they will have to install updates only from after that year started.
  • There is something called service pack 1/2/3, they will sell the latest windows with service pack integrated.
  • It'll probably be a bit more streamlined by then where it streams the latest bits that don't require a reboot over a period so you're up to date.  OEM's will probably need to maintain an image thats no older than 1 month though since the retail chain may add another month or 2 to how stale the version is before it's sold.. That should keep the number of updates to a minimum.
  • Well... And yesterday I thought that it sould be cheecky and amazing of them to call it Windows X. Now Windows 10 will be basically what OS X is right now and that's good. The funny thing is that they don't need to sell Windows right now to profit from it. It will be basically an OS with in-app purchases. If they will push Windows Store smart enough they might be successful with delivering free OS updates and generating ravenus on Stores sales.
  • He may. He may not. But it would be stupid to keep doing thingss the old way. He is a NEW ceo. Welcome change man!
  • I hope they're not changing windows to "Gates" or "Doors".
  • It will be chimney :v
  • Gates sounds great! ;)
  • Why doesn't Windows 10 come with built in Wi-Fi hotspot. We are tired of third party applications
  • I don't think you understand what a wifi hotspot is.
  • Have they removed the built-in Wi-Fi hotspot internet sharing introduced in Windows 8?
  • As long as it's not subscription based. I pay once and am done. No yearly BS.
  • I was told that they have wanted to do the monthly payment thing for a while, but didn't know how the public would react. Maybe that Office 365 seems successful, it is now the opportunity to move in that direction with the OS. Or maybe even the next Chrome OS style operating system? Microsoft is always complaining about the money they lose from pirated versions of their operating system, so they can keep control if it is a monthly subscription.
  • Stop spreading non sense, they clearly stated it " windows 10 will be updated freely till the life time of the device".
  • I hope that you are right about that. Microsoft already has Azure for businesses. What makes you so sure that they haven't at least thought about it.
    When I first heard about this it was just before Windows 8 came out. Shortly after that Office 365 came out and Microsoft Azure (coincidence?). So I won't exactly call it nonsense.
  • Also in the article it said "Windows as a service." Do you know of any other services that you may pay for on a regular basis? Does cable or internet come to mind? I don't know, but if they collected a little from everyone, then they wouldn't have to charge a lot to the people who paid legally. Or maybe they can put advertisements on those who can't afford it?
    I am not trying to spread false rumors. This is just what I have heard and since the infrastructure is being built for business purposes, I don't see it so far fetched to see this as a possible future.
  • "freely" does not nean "free"
  • Maybe Windows365 ?
  • How can you make your laptop a Wi-Fi hotspot without using connectify apps
  • I am talking about internet sharing
  • Wow... I thought they're gonna kill Windows and maybe create a fresh OS...
  • aww i was looking forward, eventually to windows 95
  • Maybe this is why they patented "Windows 365?"
  • This is not your fathers OS
  • Doesnt mean OEMs will continue to support their barely fit the requirements hardware
  • Every Microsoft news is always the subject of media speculation.. Who cares if it's called Windows 10, 11, 12 or 10.1, 10.2, 10.3. Apple has OSX Lion, Moutain Lion, Yosemite, etc.. and they're all OSX - I never see that being the subject of any speculation.. Relax guys, Windows is not going away.. Jesus!
  • Unfortunately yes :(, the titles of the news are "Windows 10 is the last version" Fortunately Sebastianx's and your comment are quite right. A universal Windows (not called Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10) and no one left behind.
  • It's about just for windows 10 for desktop or phone?
  • .named like the mac OS instead of the roman numeral X they use the number 10 lol..
  • Windows is dead boooo, think ill install Chrome O/S on my mac /S :P.
  • Good luck
  • The beta test OS over!!!!
  • A subscription model is the logical & inevitable model. MS (like any software maker) must be able to update frequently to be competitive & profitable. Consumers want the newest options, but hate to upgrade. Enterprise customers are even more demanding with updates they need & want but are even MORE resistant to major upgrades because of the efforts & costs of maintaining their users who just want to do their job and hate everything all changing at once. My day-job is an IT Systems Analyst at a large corporation, so I know the challenge of implementing a major Windows upgrade between fighting through this or that patch.
    On top of that, MS knows that a universal OS across all devices will be an impossible juggling act when any given user (enterprise or consumer) who has a tablet on this, a phone on that, a computer on this, etc is expected to do anything more than accept an occasional update notification. Especially with everyone (not just MS) moving to more cloud & services oriented models, it is vital to be able to market & implement new features & fixes in single effective punches while minimizing the impact of single, huge, overwhelming OS version updates.
    Office 365 & OneDrive are on all my devices...
    - My day-job HP laptop
    - My personal Surface Pro 2
    - My personal/day-job Lumia Icon.
    I also have a side business (recording studio) with...
    - 4 PCs
    - A second Lumia Icon & Lumia 2520 for partner 1
    - An iPhone & iPad for partner 2
    - A Galaxy S6 & Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition for partner 3
    I am able to use Office 365 & OneDrive to coordinate all of my personal, day-job, and side business activity. MS is only going to make this easier by unifying and singularly maintaining their OS, apps, and services because...
    - The more they unify and tie people & devices together the more penetration they'll have.
    - The more penetration the more market appeal.
    - The more market appeal the more market share.
    - The more market share the more leverage.
    - The more leverage the more device makers and carriers MUST cooperate, and that means more devices and less bullying by Verizon, Google, etc.
    I'm all for paying for a single convenient subscription for services that already have made my life--which includes working with people in a variety of capacities on a variety of devices--productive, and become even more productive. I'm also all for a strategy that will evolve & enhance my options in my favorite platform.
    I probably sound like an advertisement. I'm not being a MS fan-boy, I just can say from the perspective of someone who works in IT and has a side business that this is the way to go. They know what they're doing. They're making things easier & more productive. While Google & Apple start with the consumer angle and branch into Enterprise, MS starts in Enterprise and trickles it down to penetrate consumer markets.
    It is NEVER going to be the "hey, kids!" strategy at MS. They know this. The Windows 10 and subscriptions strategy will work because, all gimmicks aside, people ultimately will use what makes things faster & easier in a world where it's all about interacting & coordinating within a variety of devices & people.
  • You SHOULD be an advertisement for Microsoft. Yours is a compelling story for what MS can be/do...
  • Just telling it like it is, man. They're not fools. They know where they stand, know where they need to be, and have the money & egg-heads to tie it all together. The days of buying you software in boxes is over. The OS is Windows. The version is whatever day it is. Your business is wherever you're at. Now bring on Hololens so we can touch up the rest of reality ;)
  • Hopefully this doesn't pave the way for a Windows yearly subscription
  • The new people at Microsoft is doing now what others in the past never thought about. I like where this is going. The future of Windows look bright. I can't wait to see it fully released on every devise, fully implemented.
  • MS should've just called it Windows ONE!
  • Windows 01 is dead. Long live Windows 10 (i.e. 2)
  • This headline only serves to confuse people.
  • This is not the last Windows operating system. Because they say it's the last operating system and then they just end up making a new operating system. The end, so what's the point. How they gonna charge. We might leave a new design of those nights green which you have to pay for on a new version of. Microsoft Office So that My new Microsoft Office will have to change your mind in the future. If you can I can't tell anything?
  • To the avarege consumer it'll just be called WIndows. Only us IT people and/or geeks will actually know the version number. I like that approach.
  • Sad, but true. The office manager at my work doesn't understand how 8.0 & 8.1 are different or why she should bother updating all the PC's in the office...
  • Well with 8.1 the way they deoplyed it was stupid, going through the WIndows Store rather than WIndows Update. Windows 10 will probably have new versions like that coming through WIndows Update, and most likely it'll be turned on by default so they probanly won't know they have a new version, which I think is what Microsoft want to go for.
  • alot of ppl like the hype of new stuff to come...there will almost always have to be that public versioning so whether they call updates Windows 11 or Windows GDR 1 or blah blah blah its still going to be a different Windows with a different I dont see the need to stop naming the big releases...
  • Hmmm stuff that sounds good now wont sound good 10 years from now...I can see them going back on this...
  • I don't want to rent an OS.
  • Hmm that's good
  • This is caused by iOS and Android's success on mobile what has made Microsoft rethink their strategy on the mobile side. iPhone + iOS has made Apple the most valuable company in the world, Samsung is not far away, they make a huge cash thanks to their large marketshare for Android devices which are much larger than all the Windows desktop licenses sold by Lenovo+HP+ASUS, etc That's why Sony abandoned the PC business, thanks to the popularity of smartphones which replace what a PC does on about 90% of the tasks. The PC will never die but its marketshare will shrink year after year. However there is hope for Microsoft, and that's the Intel Compute Stick which in its 1st version is much better than Chromebit, Chromecast, Amazon Firestick, AppleTV, etc. Just imagine the future, where small HDMI sticks can become into full sized PC's, and that is going to bring a revolution on the desktop again with Microsoft probably selling half a billion of these sticks between 2016-2017
  • I kind of like this. Peoples systems will be kept up to date for years to come without having to retire the operating system.i guess as time goes by some machines will not get all the latest features as the most up to dare PCs like they did with iphone 4 and ios7
  • So, no more full versions. Only updates. I fear they might fuck this up, just like game publishers already did (finished version? there's no need for that, we can fix it later....maybe). I want an OS that works, not a squishy weekly/montly updates with the users as beta-testers. And what will the pricing be? Subscription-based? Season passes? Or even tiered options? If this turns out to be as bad as I fear I'll gladly bite the bullet and switch to Linux, even if some things are still a major pain in the ass.
  • What fails to be mentioned is that Microsoft has taken what they've learned from phones namely separating services from the OS. Thus they can update the OS without having to reinvent the wheel but rather provide a base or hub to attach the components of the wheel to.
  • Windows 10 our saviour. Bow all
  • + :p
  • Bad idea and very bad timing. Already Microsoft is being named "the falling giant". People don't want to pay repeatedly for something they paid once in the past. In all honesty, general consumer folk don't care about "never ending updates" or "continuous enhancements". I am guessing as Microsoft moves towards this model, Apple will learn from Windows 10 and move to free-update model. Soon, they may take over the PC section as they did with mobile. Just being pessimistic!
  • Windows, we will miss you.  We barely knew ye
  • There will be three camps here. Those of us IT Professionals tasked with protecting our clients and companies who have seen the promise of the subscription model (SaaS) in Office 365, then the consumer market who tries to hold on to older hardware and an outdated OS out of stubbornness or ignorance or cheapness, and finally hacks, hackers, and pirates who will HATE this. ;)