In recent months Microsoft has been silent on it’s plans for Windows in 2021, in fact the only news we’ve heard from Microsoft directly is that the Windows 10 May 2021 update has been released and that Windows 10X is cancelled. However, this drought is now over and Satya Nadella teased that a massive overhaul is coming soon, calling it “one of the most significant updates to windows in the past decade”. Here is his full quote:
Across all the opportunities I’ve highlighted today, Windows is implicit. It’s never been more important. Windows 10 is used by more than 1.3 billion people to work, learn, connect and play. And it all starts with Windows as a dev box. Windows brings together all developer and collaboration tools in one place. It lets you choose the hardware you want, works with Linux and Windows as one, and has a modern terminal.
And soon we will share one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators. I’ve been selfhosting it over the past several months, and I’m incredibly excited about the next generation of Windows. Our promise to you is this: we will create more opportunity for every Windows developer today and welcome every creator who is looking for the most innovative, new, open platform to build and distribute and monetize applications. We look forward to sharing more very soon.
Nadella refers to this as the “next version of Windows” and not “Windows 10”. This suggests that this next change to Windows could bring a major change to the branding of Windows when it releases later this year, this leads to a couple of possibilities.
The first, and most likely option, is that Microsoft will be rebranding “Windows 10” to simply be called “Windows”, this has been rumoured for multiple years since they announced that “Windows 10” would be the last major version of windows in 2015. This would make lots of sense, major linux distributions such as Ubuntu don’t have a version and number to explain their release date and versions are identified by the year and month they are released, the latest is Ubuntu 21.04 which ws released in April 2021, this could be a switch that’s being made to windows. Instead of the “Windows 10 October 2021” update, they may simply label the update “Windows 21.10” or “Windows October 2021 Update”.
Another option is that Microsoft is instead releasing Windows 11, but this seem s unlikely considering that it was announced in 2015 that Windows 10 would be the last major version of Windows. It is of course a possibility but the chances are incredibly slim, especially when considering the way that operating systems have changed over the last decade.
Microsoft is expected to have a dedicated announcement coming in the next few weeks for what will be happening in Windows. This could come at some point in June and I look forward to seeing the changes coming to windows soon.