Although Microsoft released the last version of Windows 10 for the year, it doesn’t mean that the company will stop working. New leaked screenshots reveals that Windows 10 build 9888 is making its way around a closed channel and shows the company bumping the kernel version number to 10.0.
Since Windows Vista, the kernel version of the operating system has been in the 6.x.xxx range, Windows 7 was introduced with the 6.1.xxx kernel, while Windows 8 received the 6.2.xxx and Windows 8.1 was bumped to the 6.3.xxx version range.
Today Microsoft bumping the kernel version number of Windows 10 to 10.0.xxx is a major change. The company has been working to make one Windows that works across all form factor devices sharing the same user experience and using a single core, and changing the kernel version shows that there is a huge amount of changes in the operating system.
The leaked screenshots clearly show that the current version of Windows 10 is 10.0.9888 and it’s a big jump from the latest Technical Preview, which shipped with the 6.4.9879 version.
On each version of Windows, Microsoft has made major improvements to the kernel, but since Windows Vista, one of the reasons to keep the same major version number was always related to software compatibility. As such, it will be interesting to see if moving to version 10 in the kernel will bring any issues with older software.
Update: Microsoft confirms the change of the kernel version from 6.4 to 10.0 on an Internet Explorer support web page, which details modifications in the user-agent string for the software:
Developers preparing for Windows 10 should note that the Windows NT value in the UA string will change from 6.4 to 10.0 with the new release. If you have code that depends on the version number, we advise that you update to allow for the new value.