Saturday, October 11, 2014

Straight to Windows 10

The Economist:

The replacement for its widely disparaged Windows 8 operating system turned out to be not Windows 9, as expected, but Windows 10. No explanation, other than marketing waffle, was given as to why the company should skip a release number.


Or was it, as several software developers tweeted, because so many legacy applications first check whether the computer being used is running a version of Windows beginning with number nine (as in Windows 95 or Windows 98). Had Microsoft’s new operating system been called Windows 9, it was argued, serious compatibility issues could have arisen.

Code such as OpenJDK 1.7 (via @newsoft):

if (osName.startsWith("Windows")) {
    isWindows = true;
    if (osName.startsWith("Windows 9") ||
        osName.startsWith("Windows Me"))
    return; // win9x/Me cannot handle long paths

Similar version number comparison problems also show up with Java for Mac.

Update (2014-10-12): Jason Snell:

This sounds ridiculous enough to be an Internet hoax, yet it appears to be real. And it led to a pretty funny joke from Ray Ozzie, developer of the ancient Windows program Lotus Notes.

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