What’s in a Name? Windows 10; My Musings on The Leap From 8 to 10

Posted: October 25, 2014 in Microsoft
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Allow me to begin this post with this. I think the Windows 10 name for Microsoft’s latest iteration of it’s popular and virtually ubiquitous Operating System was a great choice. The Windows 8 name unfortunately had/has a taint on it within the general public(like it or not).

Windows 9 would have definitely communicated a progression to the masses, but I believe it would have been perceived as only incremental(perception, also like it or not is important). Especially considering that there had already been steps beyond Windows 8, to 8.1 to 8.1 Update, none of which brought anything major in the publics eye.

The OS still, generally speaking, looked and acted very much the same . Consumers, enterprise and IT managers “perceived” this. To continue this perceived, non-consequential, evolution of the OS by calling the next iteration Windows 9, having already progressed partly toward that integer in the naming convention (8.1, then 8.1 Update) may not have signaled to all of Microsoft’s current and potential customers that this latest iteration of the OS was indeed what consumers/enterprise were asking for. They needed a name that signaled a LEAP rather than a small step toward the unified OS vision. Windows 8.1 and 8.1 Update were names communicating minor numerical progression which accompanied minor steps in the OS’s evolution. Windows 9, as a name would have been less than a whole integer step toward that (beginning a 8.1), 0.9 to be exact.

What’s in a name? A lot! The perception, based on the name(if Windows 9 was chosen), and the recent history would have suggested that this was not a major step toward Microsoft’s vision of a unified OS.
By calling the OS Windows 10, there is the inherent suggestion that this is indeed more, than the incremental corrections we’ve seen since Windows 8 was released. There is also that sense of “completion” that the number 10 suggests.

When we first learn to count, or teach a child to count, we often have as a goal – reach 10. We have 10 fingers and 10 toes. We have a base ten number system. Some may think these points irrelevant. Yet marketing is fundamentally a psychological endeavor, attempting to appeal to the minds of those to whom one is trying to sale a product. More often than not, the seller is attempting to shape the thoughts of the potential buyer. What is communicated, and how it is communicated is therefore key.

Microsoft with calling this latest version of Windows, Windows 10, suggests that they have reached the desired goal of making the OS what they have been telling us it would be. Ten suggests a leap beyond previous iterations. It communicates a new base, or foundation, upon which Microsoft’s hardware products(and OEM partner products) will be built.

Finally once we all start using the Roman Numeral ‘X’ when we talk(or write) about this version of Windows, “Windows X” just sounds cool.
Think about it, an “X” often represents whatever something needs to be. Windows 10 is just that, whatever it needs to be on any form factor. I’m just saying. 😊

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