What Happened to Windows 9?

Did Microsoft Go from Windows 8 Right to Windows 10?

Windows 9 Boxshot (Unofficial)
Windows 9: The Windows That Never Was.
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Microsoft has been following a pretty steady version number scheme with their operating systems lately: Windows 7, then Windows 8, and then... Windows 10.

Wait, what?

That's right. They just skipped Windows 9. Microsoft simply decided not to name their Windows 8 successor as Windows 9, but went with Windows 10 instead, which was originally code-named Threshold.

So don't worry, you didn't miss a major version of Windows.

You don't have to download something called "Windows 9" and, technically, you don't even really need to understand why Microsoft skipped it.

However, keep reading to learn more about why the name skip was done and why you'd probably be better off avoiding downloading anything called "Windows 9."

Why Did Microsoft Skip Windows 9?

Mary Jo Foley, who regularly reports on Microsoft, explained it this way in a piece she wrote on September 30, 2014, the day of the Windows 10 announcement:

"But Microsoft went instead with Windows 10 because they wanted to signify that the coming Windows release would be the last "major" Windows update. Going forward, Microsoft is planning to make regular, smaller updates to the Windows 10 codebase, rather than pushing out new major updates years apart. Windows 10 will have a common codebase across multiple screen sizes, with the UI tailored to work on those devices."

Later news about Windows 10 confirmed this idea - that Windows will be updated on a much more regular basis. So there may not ever be a Windows 11 or Windows 12, just an evolving and ever-better Windows. Period.

Sounds good to me.

Don't Download "Windows 9"!

As I've already said, Microsoft did not release a version of Windows called "Windows 9," and they probably won't ever.

This means even if you find a "download Windows 9" link online or an article on how to update to Windows 9, you must remember that Windows 9 does not exist.

Any download called Windows 9 is more than likely just an attempt to infect your computer with a virus by masquerading as an update to Windows or as a "rare Windows version" that only select users can install. That, or the person sharing it just misnamed the download, but that's unlikely.

Tip: If you have already downloaded software that's pretending to be Windows 9, make sure you scan your hard drive right now. An always-on virus protection program should already be installed to your computer and should be enough to remove the malware, but if you're extra cautious or don't have one installed, use one of these free on-demand virus scanners.

Windows Update Resources

Even though Windows 9 doesn't exist, you can still keep other versions of Windows, like Windows 10 and Windows 8, updated and free from bugs using Windows Update.

See What is Windows Update? for more information on what it's used for and how to access it in Windows 10 all the way back to Windows 98.

Also see these articles if you're in need of more specific help regarding Windows Update: