Windows 10 name may be Windows 95’s fault

Most people were surprised by Microsoft’s decision to flout naming convention and jump straight to Windows 10, but a fresh rumour suggests a plausible and practical reason for the move.

Over on Reddit, a user going by the name of Cranbourne who identifies themselves as a Microsoft developer came up with an interesting hypothesis. The full post reads like this:

“Microsoft dev here, the internal rumours are that early testing revealed just how many third party products that had code of the form:

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

and that this was the pragmatic solution to avoid that.”

In other words, a lot of old third party apps have been written (rather sloppily, it seems) to check for OS versions starting with  Windows 9. This refers back, of course, to the time of Windows 95 and Windows 98.

The trouble is, this little piece of code could cause problems for any new OS simply calling itself ‘Windows 9.’

So, the Windows 10 nomenclature may not be down to a team of marketing men throwing around buzz words and customer perception polls in an air conditioned office. It might just be the result of some very lazy 20-year-old code.

Microsoft yesterday made the Windows 10 Technical Preview available to download, just a day after unveiling the new OS. The full consumer version isn’t expected to arrive until deep into 2015.

Read more: Windows 10: Microsoft begs for forgiveness

Via: Gizmodo