Microsoft’s Latest OS was Probably Named Windows 10 instead of 9 because of a Coding Bug

Usman Pirzada
Posted 2 years ago

Something pretty interesting was posted on Reddit recently. You would have probably noticed that the next windows of Microsoft is not called 9 but rather 10. And while it seems that Microsoft has forgotten to count, or was unusually impressed by Nvidia’s example, the actual reason might be hidden in the mundane code. Literally. This Reddit post claims that the name ‘9’ would have led to many programs recognizing the OS as Windows 95 or Windows 98, surprising as it may seem. Windows 10 Xbox One

Microsoft renamed Windows 9 to Windows 10 because of Buggy Third Party Recognition

Before this, probably the most plausible theory I had come across was that Microsoft did not want to be a number less than Apple’s OS X 10.10 Yosemite, but this one absolutely takes the cake in my opinion. When Win 10 was officially revealed, my Facebook feed was filled with jokes ranging from “Microsoft named it 10 because 7-Ate-9” to the Alternative OS is good meme (95 bad, 98 good, 2000 bad, xp good, vista bad, seven good, eight bad, nine good, ten bad and…. the troll face). Needless to say, Microsoft took some minor, yet necessary flak over the naming choice. So why did it?

This particular theory claims that the reason lies in the base code. A Reddit user who claims he is a Microsoft employee posts that the there is a specific ‘blunt-detection’ routine in a huge amount of third party programs which confuses OS recognition. So to avoid compatibility problems like these, Microsoft has decided to shift to Windows 10. Here is the code in question.

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

For the code averse, this means that the program will detect the OS as Win 95 and 98 IF the name starts with “Windows 9”. So if your OS is named Windows 98 it will be detected as Windows ME, and if its Windows 9, still ME. Now all this does seem a bit fishy but if you do a search on any code searching website you would find a huge number of programs which actually do go as far as the first digit to recognize an OS. has around 5000 instances of code that would in reality recognize Windows 9 as Windows ME. So there you go folks, a perfectly logical (and non marketing-evil ) reason why Windows 9 was renamed to Windows 10. It is worth mentioning that Microsoft did not comment on the story.


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