There will never be a Windows 11, not unless Microsoft suddenly changes course after spending the past five years getting Windows 10 installed on more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices (the last official figure from Microsoft). Be that as it may, Windows 10 will continue to evolve. To that end, multiple job listings suggest some major changes are headed to Windows 10, beyond the upcoming Sun Valley update (opens in new tab).
These days, Microsoft's operating system follows a service model, with bi-annual updates that add new features and capabilities. Some are bigger than others. For example, the just-released Windows 10 May 2021 update (opens in new tab), or 21H1, is relatively slim with just a small handful of features and bug fixes. However, the 21H2 update codenamed Sun Valley arriving later this year figures to be the biggest overhaul to Windows 10 to date, with a completely refreshed look and feel.
That could be just the beginning, though. The folks at Windows Latest (opens in new tab) spotted several job listings posted over the past few months that talk about a "multi-year journey" to dramatically alter Windows 10.
"We are now on a multi-year journey to revolutionize the Windows UX platform by delivering best interactive experiences, showcasing cutting-edge hardware," one of the job listings states (opens in new tab).
Another listing, which has since been removed, described the multi-year journey as an attempt to "re-imagine" Windows 10, while yet another references "radical" design changes headed to the OS.
"Your work will influence and shape the look and feel of Windows: you will help us change the world," another listing says.
None of the listings get into the specifics of what all these changes might entail, perhaps because Microsoft hasn't entirely figured it out yet—hence the call for program managers and other job positions that will be directly responsible for shaping Windows 10 well into the future.
Change can be scary, a feeling that is sometimes justified. Remembers Windows 8? Microsoft's attempt to jam a tablet-friendly Metro UI down our throats was met with bitter resentment, leading to Windows 8.1, and then Windows 10.
To Microsoft's credit, however, most of the changes in Windows 10 have not been jarring. Buggy updates (opens in new tab) frequently break things, sure, but the overall feel and function of Windows 10 has remained consistent, with some welcome improvements along the way. Like GPU monitoring in the Task Manager (opens in new tab), and a rebuilt Edge browser (opens in new tab) that's actually pretty good (side note: RIP Internet Explorer (opens in new tab)).
So I'll remain cautiously optimistic that the Windows 10 of 2022 and beyond won't suck. Barring a switch to Linux or *shudders* making the leap to a Mac, cautious optimism is really the only choice.