Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella set tongues wagging at Build 2021 when he dropped a bombshell. There’s a huge new version of Windows coming soon and he’s already using it.
The MS-BOSS said the next release will be one of the “most significant” Windows updates in the last decade and promised an announcement “very soon.”
That offered more questions than answers, because nothing was showcased during the keynote, but Nadella’s tone suggested this is more than simply another bi-annual Windows 10 announcement. Could this be Windows 11? Either by that name or another?
Before we move forward, let’s remind ourselves of what Nadella had to say at Build.
“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 self-hosting 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 monetise applications. We look forward to sharing more very soon.”
Satya Nadella at Build 2021
Windows 11 coming soon? Microsoft comments
We’ve been on the horn to the software giant, which was typically terse and typically noncommittal. In a statement to Trusted Reviews, a Microsoft spokesperson said: “Microsoft is committed to Windows 10 and has nothing more to share.”
So no confirmation or denial from Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean a lot. Remember, Nadella said it was a significant update to Windows, not specifically Windows 10.
Does Windows 11 need to exist?
It’s pretty unlikely Microsoft will ever launch a Windows 11. Back in 2015 Microsoft itself said Windows 10 would be “the last version of Windows.” A lot can change in six years, but there hasn’t been much to suggest a big change of course is likely.
At the Microsoft Ignite conference in 2015, Microsoft engineer Jerry Nixon said: “Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.”
There isn’t really an apparent need for a Windows 11 considering Microsoft has been quite happily and regularly updating its desktop operating system for years now, under the Windows 10 banner. The current update mechanism enables Microsoft to seamlessly deliver new features to users as and when it wants, with the minimum of fuss.
A number of threads on the Microsoft Answers support community pretty much rule out a Windows 11 launch. Microsoft insiders, and volunteers in their droves say “Windows 10 is the latest & last OS.” Others refer to Windows 11 as an “internet myth.”
Right now it just doesn’t look on the cards. However, if Microsoft really wanted to start a new era with a reimagining of the software for the best laptops and best desktop PCs then perhaps it would seek to change the nomenclature and get a clean break with the past.
Apple famously spent 20 years with MacOS X (which became macOS), with a multitude of new built numbers, but eventually, last year, macOS 11 did arrive with Big Sur as it debuted the shift to its Apple Silicon processors.
Microsoft, of course, is reportedly considering a similar shift for its Surface hardware.
What about Windows 10X?
That’s a good question because Microsoft put a lot of stock in the Windows 10X offshoot it hoped would be the answer to the Chromebook-powering Google Chrome OS, as well as a new-generation of dual-screen devices like the Surface Neo. However, last year, as the remote working switch gathered speed, Microsoft put the update on the back burner.
Now the company says it is cancelling the update altogether. In a blog post, the company confirmed: “We concluded that the 10X technology shouldn’t just be confined to a subset of customers. Instead of bringing a product called Windows 10X to market in 2021 like we originally intended, we are leveraging learnings from our journey thus far and accelerating the integration of key foundational 10X technology into other parts of Windows and products at the company.”
Regardless of the naming convention, we’re excited to see what Microsoft has to offer when it announces that next-gen Windows update “very soon.” Naturally, we’ll have full in-depth coverage.