Alt: The number behind the Windows build number


If you’re reading this site, there’s a good chance that you have heard about the Windows build number.

You’ve probably just thought “Oh, it’s another number” but did you know that since Windows Vista, there is an interesting secret about it?

First, here are some build numbers:

Windows 95: 950

Windows 98: 1998

Windows 98 SE: 2222

Windows XP: 2600 (reference to the hacker magazine)

These numbers don’t mean much and are literally what they are- the build of Windows that work was completed on.

However, since Windows Vista, things have changed slightly. Here are the last few build numbers:

Windows Vista: 6.0.6000

Windows 7: 6.1.7600

Windows 8: 6.2.9200

Notice anything? Well, firstly the number increases by 1600 each time, and secondly, each number is divisible by 16.

Since Windows Vista, it has been a requirement that each build can be evenly divisible so that they could use the bottom four bits of the number for internal purposes.

Fun fact: The Windows 8 developers wanted to use build 8888 as the RTM build number, but thanks to a bug, they couldn’t. Also, the number isn’t divisible by 16 nor was it an increase of 1600. So, build 9200 was born.

There’s no way to tell what the next version of Windows is going to bring. But we know one thing for sure, the build number should be divisible by 16.



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