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Maybe it was the fear of the single digits. Maybe nine just had a bad vibe.

Where everyone -- including us -- predicted the release of Windows 9 today in a press briefing by Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash. giant pulled a fast one and skipped up a version to Windows 10.

Of course, there's little shock in the announcement because it is, in fact, an announcement regarding Windows. Speculation pretty much included nothing by Windows talk. Although we did ponder the idea of an Office update.

But Microsoft even told us last week, "On September 30, we will be providing an update on what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.”

Trying to Remain Relevant

So here it is, Windows 10, announced by Microsoft in the press briefing and on its website. This new version for Microsoft could be a deal-breaker, according to analysts.

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David Johnson of Forrester Research said before learning of the "10" name, that "there is a lot riding on Windows 9 for Microsoft in the enterprise."

He pointed out that only about one in five organizations offer Windows 8 PCs to employees right now.

"And with Windows 7 extended support running until January 2020," Johnson added, "Microsoft needs to give enterprises reasons to move to a new version before it becomes a crisis. Whether or not Windows 9 is a success lies in whether users will actually gain more freedom or more constraints when they use it every day for work. Much will depend on where Microsoft chooses to draw the boundaries between enabling IT control and promoting employee autonomy."

Forrester's Frank Gillett added that "Microsoft must show that it will be much easier to upgrade and update Windows, that the new OS will be easier to learn and use for traditional PC users than Windows 8, and that they've preserved mobile capabilities.

He called it a "tall order for Microsoft."

"They have to reinvigorate Windows in order to remain relevant in the mobile- and cloud-first world that it is aiming for," he added. 

Title image by Kichigin / Shutterstock.