Windows 10
Windows 10 is the last stand alone version of the software.Microsoft

A Microsoft development executive has said that Windows 10 will be the "last version" of the desktop software.

At Microsoft's Ignite conference speech earlier this week Jerry Nixon revealed the software giant would no longer produce the updated stand-alone versions of the programme.

Microsoft confirmed his claims saying Windows would be updated in an "ongoing manner" in the future with regular instalments.

A statement said: "Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner."

The company said it had yet to decide on what to call the operating system beyond Windows 10.

Steve Kleynhans, a research vice-president at analyst firm Gartner who monitors Microsoft warned in an effort to break with tradition, said: "There will be no Windows 11."

The successive stand-alone versions of the operating system created problems for Microsoft and its customers, prompting the decision.

"Every three years or so Microsoft would sit down and create 'the next great OS'," explained Kleynhans. The developers would be locked away and out would pop a product based on what the world wanted three years ago."

Microsoft also had to spend vast amounts of money on marketing to convince consumers that each new version was an improvement on the last.

Kleynhans added that most of the revenue generated by Windows for Microsoft came from sales of new PCs and this was unlikely to be affected by the change.

"Overall, this is a positive step, but it does have some risks," he said. "Microsoft will have to work hard to keep generating updates and new features. It doesn't mean that Windows is frozen and will never move forward again," Kleynhans told the BBC. "Indeed we are about to see the opposite, with the speed of Windows updates shifting into high gear."

Microsoft is now considering how they would provide support to customers as they adapt to the new approach to Windows.