The Real Answer To Why Microsoft Leapfrogged The Windows 9 Release Name

If you follow the PC industry as I, you have no doubt heard many reasons why Microsoft named their latest OS release as Windows 10 instead of 9. One explanation noted that the number 9 in Japanese has bad karma. In actuality most all of the single digits have some form of evil superstitious connotation in the Orient. Ya, I know. I also like the name Redskins. The explanations from Microsoft itself sounded phony and appeared to be overt spins from their marketing department. The real reason is actually quite simple and cogent. For more than 20 years, since the passing of the 286 based Windows 2.0, there are thousands of applications capable of running all iterations of Windows, many of them being Microsoft’s own, e.g. Office 97 and Notepad. A software developer named cranbourne on the social news site Reddit reported an MS internal rumor that early testing of the next OS found massive app failures traced to the use of this line of code:

if(version.StartsWith(“Windows 9”)) { /* 95 and 98 */ …} else { …}

Prudence dictated skipping that cardinal.

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