Still confused about why the new version of Windows is 10, instead of 9? Beyond the loosely defined numbering schemes that are all too common in tech (how many iPhones did it take to get to 6?), a note posted to Reddit could provide an answer. Reddit user cranbourne claims to be a Microsoft developer, and cites rumors that early testing with the name “Windows 9” ran into problems with code used as a shortcut to detect when apps are running on Windows 95 or Windows 98. The problem, is that it was never written to actually check for the extra character. Whatever the real reason is, Microsoft isn’t saying, and it gave Gizmodo a vague non-answer about the new name so your conspiracy theory is as good as ours (we think they were avoiding a Tolkien nine rings of power reference, and we have evidence to prove it.)
– Christer Kaitila (@McFunkypants) October 1, 2014
The news that Windows 10 may have been named that way because of .StartsWith(“Windows 9”) checks reminds me of http://t.co/CVArfBVbZj
– Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) October 1, 2014
It sounds bizarre, and other versions of Windows have had different names publicly and internally to avoid such issues (Windows 7 aka Windows 6.1). Still, it carries weight for a couple of reasons and developers we asked found the reasoning plausible. Programmer Jeff Atwood points out a similar issue that hit Windows 2000 and certain Pentium processors back in the day, while indie dev Christer Kaitila exposed exactly how much of the potentially offending code is out there with a simple search. If you have a better idea, let us know in the comments below.