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article imageWindows 10 is the 'last version of Windows', says Microsoft

By James Walker     May 8, 2015 in Technology
A Microsoft developer has revealed that the company is viewing Windows 10 as the last major version of the renowned operating system, confirming many previous rumours of how Microsoft will update Windows over-the-air with incremental feature additions.
Microsoft developer evangelist Jerry Nixon revealed the news at the company's Ignite conference earlier this week, according to The Verge. He discussed how Microsoft is moving to marketing Windows 10 "as a service," allowing it to be updated in a more modular and regular fashion.
Nixon revealed that Microsoft was working on two operating systems at once last year. As it released Windows 8.1 to consumers, it was also building Windows 10 as privately as possible behind the scenes. This isn't going to happen again as the company will always be working on updates for the same operating system — Windows 10.
Nixon explained: "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."
This may initially confuse consumers who are used to the regular release cadence of Microsoft operating system updates. Downloadable security updates come on the second Tuesday of the month — "Patch Tuesday" — while new versions of Windows cost a few hundred bucks every few years and bring along a ton of new features before leaving you waiting for another few years.
All of this will change. Windows 10 will be free to upgrade to in its first year and will be incrementally updated with new features and UI refinements as soon as the patches are ready. Even the infamous Patch Tuesday may be abolished as Microsoft seeks to push updates out to consumers as soon as possible.
The entire operating system is being modularized so that Microsoft can even change the appearance of core system components such as the taskbar, Start menu and included apps without forcing users to reinstall the OS. The new method makes more sense in the modern age and will ease the development of Windows 10 across all of the devices that it is designed to run on.
This isn't to say that you won't be seeing "Windows 11" or "Windows 12" in the future. Microsoft is likely to bundle major updates together into one large package but the key is that this will then be automatically delivered through Windows Update, like updating a smartphone. Users won't have to grab a Windows DVD again once 10 has been installed.
The future of Windows updates looks to be very different from what we have in the present. The change is substantial but will improve the experience for Microsoft developers making Windows and ordinary people using the software. Only one thing remains to be explained: how exactly is Microsoft intending to monetise its new way of delivering Windows?
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