At the recent Ignite conference held in Chicago, Microsoft developer Jerry Nixon made the following statement:
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.
What it means is that there will be no more major releases of shiny new Windows versions, but instead, any new features or innovations will be delivered as updates to the existing operating system. Jerry Nixon went on to explain that when Microsoft was launching Windows 8.1 they were already working on Windows 10. Now, Microsoft employees can talk freely about future updates to Windows 10 because there’s no secret new version in the works coming next – it’s all just Windows 10.
Another phrase that’s being bandied about by Microsoft representatives pertaining to future Windows is 8220;Windows as a service”, which, in the context of Jerry Nixon’s statement, can be interpreted as referring to Microsoft’s new approach of regular and frequent updates, but is nevertheless somewhat ambiguous.
The DCT team members were discussing all this during a recent video chat session on Skype. Our fearless leader (Dave) saying that he believes Windows will end up being called just that, “Windows”, with Microsoft eventually dropping the identifier “10” from the title. Makes sense to me. Dave is also of the opinion that, while Microsoft may possibly introduce a subscription based option for corporate users, it is unlikely they will do so for home users.
I tend to disagree with the latter and am still of the opinion that all indications, including recent hyperbole, are that Microsoft is planning on introducing a subscription based option for all, including home users, at some time down the track. I guess only time will tell.
One thing of which I am certain, Microsoft is intent on unifying the Windows platform by getting as many users as possible running the same operating system. The expenditure required to maintain a support infrastructure for multiple Windows versions and editions must be an astronomical drain on resources, both financial and in terms of manpower.
Windows is here to stay, but the future lies in updates rather than shiny new major versions.