The overwhelmingly negative reaction to Windows 8 forced Microsoft's hand somewhat, but few truly believed Windows 10 would be the last major release. Five years on and it's technically true, although that doesn't tell the full story.
Why is there no Windows 11?
The short answer is that it isn't needed. Despite Microsoft falling short of its target to have Windows 10 on one billion devices within three years, there's no doubting it has been a success.
The company went back to basics, moving away from the live tiles that had proved so unpopular and returning users the familiarity of a Start Menu and traditional desktop. This tried and trusted design was an easy way to get users back on side.
In some ways it was a safe release, but it also marked a change in strategy for Microsoft. As was the case with its Office 365 subscription service (now Microsoft 365), it ditched big releases every few years in favour of new feature updates every six months.
Now, each May and November Windows 10 users get a number of new features - here's what to look out for in the next update. Alongside this, there are monthly security updates and bug patches whenever they are discovered.
This means Windows 10 has had countless updates since that initial release in July 2015. Microsoft decision to stick with Windows 10 will due in part to the widespread popularity of Windows 10. According to StatCounter, more than 70% of all Windows devices were running Windows 10, making it installed on around 54.7% of all desktop devices. If the reception to it had been as negative as Windows 8, we'd have surely seen Windows 11 by now.
It's important to note that Windows 10 doesn't follow Microsoft 365's subscription model for software. The operating system is considered fundamental to the way a device works, so you can keep updating as long as you have a device running Windows 10.
This means it's unlikely that devices now running Windows 10 won't be compatible with a future update, with the major limiting factor being a slowing device that is unable to handle a more advanced operating system.
You might have seen the countless Windows 11 concept videos online, but in reality Microsoft can implement many of these features gradually without the need for a major new release.