What's In A Name: Will Windows 8 Be The Name Of The Next Windows?

Martin Brinkmann
May 6, 2011
Updated • Jun 14, 2014
Microsoft, Windows 8

Microsoft is keeping tight lipped about the name of the next windows. Many users assume that it will be named Windows 8. Others use the name because it is convenient at the moment, mainly because there are not any solid alternatives at the moment, besides The Next Windows maybe, and that the community interested in the operating system is calling it this way.

But will Microsoft use that name for their next client operating system? Or will the Redmond company go crazy once again and name it Windows Balahua or something like that. We do not know yet, and will not know for quite some time. There are however indicators that suggest that Windows 8 will indeed be the name of the next Microsoft operating system.

When you look at Microsoft's wordings you notice that company officials and documents try to avoid calling and naming the next operating system Windows 8. The operating system is usually referred to as The Next Windows which many see as an indication that Microsoft might indeed use a different name for the final product. It could on the other hand be a strategic decision, to avoid that news about Windows 8 break Windows 7's momentum. The Next Windows is an abstract term, whereas Windows 8 refers directly to the successor of Windows 7.

The recent leaks highlight Microsoft's dilemma. While it is usually a good thing that people are excited about an operating system, it may at the very same time torpedo Windows 7's rise to become the most used Microsoft operating system. Not to forget that leaks may reveal features that may be canned at a later point in development.

Back to Windows 8. Lets see if we can eliminate some alternatives. Microsoft could stick with The Next Windows, but that would be shortsighted, considering that they would get naming problems for the Windows version after that. They could also mimic how the server operating systems are named, Windows Client 2012 comes to mind. But that may not be as helpful as it looks on first glance. First, it is easy enough to distinguish client and server operating systems as all server operating systems have server in their name. Second, a switch to Windows Client Year would be a technical name, which could intimidate some customers. In the same group fall descriptive names, e.g. Windows Touch, or Windows Touch 2012 which would reduce the operating system to a single feature. Not very likely either.

The third possibility would be a a Vistaesque name, like Windows Suave. Problem with these kind of names is that they break a naming pattern. Windows XP > Windows Vista > Windows 7 > Windows Suave. It does not feel right and it is very unlikely that Microsoft will opt for such a name.

Now that we have looked at some possibilities, it is time to look at Windows 8, and why it is likely that Microsoft will use that name for the next Windows.

  • Windows 8 automatically indicates that it is the successor of Windows 7, which is a good thing considering that Windows 7 is highly successful and that users will associate that success with Windows 8
  • The name is already widely used on the Internet. Everyone and their mom know about Windows 8. It would take time and money to make a different name known.
  • While Microsoft tries their best to avoid using Windows 8, it has already been used in recent builds, for instance on the Homegroup screen.

If I had to bet, I'd bet on Windows 8 as the name of the next Microsoft operating system. What's your opinion?

Article Name
What's In A Name: Will Windows 8 Be The Name Of The Next Windows?
Why Microsoft will name the next Windows operating system Windows 8.

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  1. Martin Turner said on May 9, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Maybe they will want to make deeper inroads into the Chinese market and name it Windows 888.

  2. Robert Palmar said on May 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Windows 2000 did not follow Windows ME.
    It coexisted with Windows 98 and ME
    and was the business NT platform.

    The separate platforms were
    merged with Windows XP.

  3. Ross Presser said on May 6, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    History of the client OS names:

    Windows 3.1
    Windows NT 3.5 Workstation
    Windows 95
    Windows 98
    Windows ME
    Windows 2000 Professional (this was an aberration, a “technical name” as Mr. Brinkmann suggested)
    Windows XP
    Windows Vista
    Windows 7

    Conclusion: they don’t like repeating a naming convention more than twice (3.1, 3.5; 95, 98; ME, XP) . Inference: The next windows might well be Windows 8, but the one after that probably won’t be Windows 9.

  4. Robert Palmar said on May 6, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Windows 7 has been a landmark release for Microsoft.
    In many ways it represents a new platform for the future.
    It has also been quite favorably received by most everyone.
    It seems a shame to let go of a name having such success.

    Windows 7 also has a very nice ring to it. 7 is a great number.
    Personally I think Microsoft should take a cue from Apple.
    Keep the Windows 7 much as Apple has kept OSX
    through successive versions of the OS.

    Add a defining name that follows,
    as in OSX Tiger, Snow Leopard, etc.

    So what would I call it?
    “Windows 7 Metro”
    The next iteration of
    Microsoft’s winning OS.

  5. n said on May 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I’m hoping for Windows 8.0.

  6. Ashley Pearson said on May 6, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Windows Galore?

  7. Jacob said on May 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    go look in the homegroup folder if you want to know if microsoft is using the name windows 8 cause they did there

  8. johhnylaffstock said on May 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    I heard it was going to be called Windows JABOBE (Just Another Bunch Of Bugs Edition)

  9. kktkkr said on May 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    My next best guess is a return to the days of Windows “XP” and “ME”, namely that the next version will be called Windows AwkwardCollectionOfLetters.
    And my best guess after that is simply Windows Eight.

  10. Roebie said on May 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    How about Wibuntu?

  11. Dan said on May 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I have this odd vision… a premonition really. And the word “Longhorn” kept popping up in my head. It might actually happen…

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