What Happened to Windows 9?

Microsoft went from Windows 8 right to Windows 10. This means Windows 9 never came out and is not a real operating system

Microsoft has historically followed a pretty steady version number scheme with their operating systems: Windows 7, then Windows 8, and then... Windows 10 and Windows 11.

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.

Picture of the Windows 9 logo (unofficial).

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. That doesn't mean, however, that newer versions of Windows are out of the picture; Windows 11 is a clear example of that.

Alternative reasons have been offered up by others, like that 9 is considered an unlucky number, that it's too close to 10 which doesn't sound as good as 9 (i.e., a marketing strategy), or that Windows 8.1 was supposed to be called Windows 9 but wasn't, for whatever reason.

Don't Download "Windows 9"!

Microsoft did not release a version of Windows called "Windows 9," and we can't imagine they ever would. 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 it doesn't 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.

If you've 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, you should scan your computer for malware.

Windows Update Resources

Even though Windows 9 doesn't exist, you can still keep other versions of Windows, like Windows 11/10, updated and free from bugs using Windows Update.

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