Weird: Windows 7 is really Windows 10

When Microsoft announced it was just going to call the next version of its flagship OS Windows 7 not “Windows Happy Unicorn with Tinkling Bells and a Burbling Brook” or something the tech community breathed a sigh of relief.

After several years of being bombarded with Windows Vista hype and promises that never matched reality that “7” was a gruff acknowledgement from Microsoft that it was time to cut down on the Kool-ade and deliver a better OS.

But is “7” really an appropriate moniker for Vista’s successor? Depending on how you count it it should really be at least Windows 10. For example here’s one list of Windows versions:

1. Windows 1
2. Windows 2
3. Windows 3/3.1/3.11
4. Windows 95
5. Windows 98
6. Windows NT
7. Windows 2000
8. Windows XP
9. Windows Vista
10. Windows 7

If that’s the case one can only assume that Microsoft felt queasy about labelling its next OS “Windows 10” due to the risk of looking like it was only just getting to the same ground Apple reached with Mac OS X some years ago. (The “X” in “OS X” is read as a roman numeral and pronounced “ten” in a typically pretentious Apple fashion.)

But if you factor in all those rehashed refried warmed up re-release versions of Windows that Microsoft’s marketing folk have dreamed up over the years we could well be up to Windows 15. Here’s a list sourced from Wikipedia (and this doesn’t even include all the minor sub-versions such as Windows 95 OSR 2 or Windows 2.11):

1. Windows 1.0
2. Windows 2.0
3. Windows 3.0
4. Windows 3.1
5. Windows for Workgroups 3.11
6. Windows NT 3.51
7. Windows 95
8. Windows NT 4
9. Windows 98
10. Windows 98 SE
11. Windows ME
12. Windows 2000
13. Windows XP
14. Windows Vista
15. Windows 7

You can’t even base Windows 7’s version on its internal Windows kernel number since it only runs Windows kernel 6.1.  Here are some of the Windows kernel version numbers:

1. Windows NT 3.51 – 3.51.1057
2. Windows 95 – 4.00.950
3. Windows NT 4 – 4.0.1381
4. Windows 98 – 4.10.1998
5. Windows ME – 4.90.3000
6. Windows 2000 – 5.0.2195
7. Windows XP – 5.1.2600
8. Windows Vista – 6.0.6000.0
9. Windows 7 – 6.1.???? (the final build number is yet to be decided)

Microsoft does have a reasoning of sorts — it says in a blog post that it counts all the “9x” versions as version 4 Windows 2000 and XP as version 5 and Vista as 6. Do you agree that this is a rational naming scheme?

  • Tcat Houser

    Nice research. Missing In Action:

    Windows 286
    Windows 386

    Windows NT 3.1/3.5/.5.1

    And the swear I wasn’t on LSD,
    the 6 weeks in 1990ish, with
    Plain old NT and NT. Advanced Server

    With it’s 27 5.25″ Floppies (1.2MB)
    that did nothing but add an arrow pointer
    to the hour glass icon on login.

    Other stupid moments…

    3.1.1 did stupid things like making clock.exe 32-bit
    And didn’t play nice with Windows for Workgroups.

  • John

    Microsoft has lame ideals that are generally poorly accepted ever other generation of their products. Especially with regards to Windows. I am fine with Windows 8.1 as long as I can lock myself into the Classic desktop mode. Not sure if Windows 10 will have yet another learning curve. But again, Microsoft keeps fiddling with things not really broken. Again, the questions will mount on upgrading to Windows 10. Will people accept it? Will Spartan browser be a real improvement or just another browser? Will enterprise even look at Windows 10 if they are still running Windows 7? I don’t read so much negative stuff about Windows 10 as I did Windows 8. The final release is still to come and one wonders if Microsoft is back on track or just on another track to failure.