Windows 11 holds a Windows 9 reference — if you know where to look

Windows 11 Tease
Windows 11 Tease (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Though Windows 11 and 10 were released, Windows 9 never was.
  • A reference to the unreleased operating system still exists within Windows.
  • A Twitter user has revealed where you can find that reference in both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

For those of you who follow the timeline of Windows releases, you know that Windows 9 never came to be. There was Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and most recently Windows 11, but 9 never got its time in the sun. However, if you know where to look, you can spot glimpses of its would-be existence.

Twitter user Xeno revealed the Easter egg over on Twitter, showcasing a namedrop of the unreleased operating system within Microsoft's current ecosystem of OSes (via WinFuture).

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As noted in Xeno's tweet, you can find this little secret as far back as Windows 10 build 9860 as well as in the latest Windows 11 Insider Dev build offerings, such as 22567. And alongside the Windows 9 namedrop is a mention of Windows Blue, otherwise known as Windows 8.1. In total, Xeno's info drop highlights two fun little nuggets of lore tucked away within the shells of Microsoft's current breadwinning operating systems.

Microsoft is no stranger to folding Windows projects when it decides a different course of action is needed, so it's not like Windows 9 is anything particularly notable, nor is its quiet existence as a reference inside of Microsoft's successfully released operating systems. But it's still fun trivia, much like it's fun trivia that there's a country on Earth where, in 2022, Windows XP is still the go-to operating system. And while on the topic of novelties, don't forget Microsoft recently put a person inside a Clippy suit.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to