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Microsoft, can we please call this Windows 11.1 already?

Microsoft, can we please call this Windows 11.1 already?

Whenever I see a big Windows 11 update I wonder why it wasn't a Windows 11.1 or Windows 11.2 release. Instead, Microsoft has used several confusing methods for naming Windows updates in recent years instead of a simple method like point release.

Let me explain my point to you:

windows 10 anniversary update
windows 10 creators update
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
Windows 10 October 2020 Update
windows 10 may 2021 update
windows 11 22h2
windows 11 2023 update

As you can see, Microsoft is gradually moving towards a more understandable naming strategy for Windows releases, but it still regularly uses the nicknames 22H2 and 23H2 which seem like strange codenames to ordinary people. Are. Are. If you go into Windows Update you're more likely to see a reference to 23H2, and even the About screen in Windows lists 23H2 as the current version of Windows 11.

I'm not entirely sure what's stopping Microsoft from using point releases for Windows these days. Windows 8 received its own Windows 8.1 Update, but it never had a true point release like Windows 8.1.1 or Windows 8.1.2. Next came Windows 10, a confusing jumble of marketing and internal names that often made no sense.

A few years ago multiple sources told me that Microsoft was considering naming its updates after animals or people, but ultimately decided against it for several reasons, not least because the people could do bad things. . And you don't want an OS named after a bad guy. Instead, Microsoft changed the monthly names in place of point releases, and now we're back to annual names that don't really make any sense when you consider that Windows 11 has had several major updates in 2023 alone. .

Apple successfully uses point releases for iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS, even if it sticks to naming macOS releases after places. It's easy for me to troubleshoot a family member's iPhone and know quickly and clearly what version of iOS they're running. On Windows, the 23H2 version number doesn't really tell me much, as there are monthly updates that may add features on top. It's much easier to Google "Windows 11.1" to find out what's been added, compared to "Windows 11 2023 Update November Update" or "Windows 23H2 November Features".

I mean look at Microsoft's own update history page for Windows 11, it's full of a mix of KB numbers and OS build numbers. Now looking at Apple's list of iOS 17 updates, it's easy to immediately understand that iOS 17.1.1 is the latest. Microsoft has listed OS builds 22621.2715 and 22631.2715, which may not mean much to real humans. Good luck comparing those builds to builds 22621.2506 and 22631.2506, which were released just two weeks apart.

Microsoft has a long history of getting the marketing names for its Windows operating systems wildly inaccurate. Jared Spataro, head of modern work and business applications at Microsoft, joked about the naming of Windows earlier this month. Discussing the rebranding of Bing Chat to Copilot, Spataro admitted, "Simplicity and naming, well, they haven't always been our strong suit." “Does anyone else remember Windows XP 64-bit Edition for 64-bit Extended Systems? Just rolls off the tongue,” he joked.

Still, it could be much worse. Believe it or not, Microsoft used to ship a product called "Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition" and also launched Windows Phone as "Windows Phone 7.1 Series" before quickly abandoning that part of the series. The history of Windows Mobile naming spans back at least 15 years of different brand names, so we may still have some time before things get better.

Hopefully with Windows 12, or whatever Microsoft is calling it, we'll finally get point releases back or a clear and easy way to identify the latest version of Windows. Until then, good luck helping your family member with their Windows laptop during Thanksgiving. Oh, and don't forget to turn off motion smoothing when you're on your family's TV.

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