Microsoft version numbering

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Microsoft's version numbering identifies the specific release and revision of Microsoft software products. If one is running Microsoft's Internet Explorer they can view this number by selecting "Help" and "About" from the menu. This version number is composed of 4 parts separated by periods and may include alpha characters. The first number is the primary version number, the second number is the secondary version number, the third number is the build number, and the fourth number is a complex number that includes the Service pack release, International Client pack, and hotfix numbers.

Primary and secondary[edit]

As Microsoft develops a software product, new functions or features are added, major new features may be indicated with a new primary version number, minor functions or features will increment the secondary version number. For example, in Internet Explorer version 5.50.4807.2300, the primary and secondary version is 5.50, the build number is 4807 and 2300 identifies Service Pack 2 and hotfix 300.[1]


Higher version and build numbers are always later and will not be overwritten with earlier version and build numbers during a Service Pack installation or upgrade.

One can also identify service pack, international client pack, and hotfix numbers from the fourth element of the version number, as described below.

Auxiliary number[edit]

An auxiliary number embeds the following information:

Service packs
The leftmost digit, .x000, is the service pack release number (for example, 2.00.1239.2000 denotes Service Pack 2). By default service pack 2 will contain all of service pack 1. Microsoft documents all components of each service pack on their website This convention has changed slightly with Windows Vista SP1. With Windows Vista, the build string is shown as 6.0.6001.18063 with the last digit (x) of the 600x number representing the service pack (ex: 6001 = SP1, 6002 = SP2) and everything after as the exact build number.[2]
International client packs
The International client pack (ICP) version number is represented by the second digit, which can range from 4 to 9 (.0400, .0500, .0600, .0700, .0800, .0900). Microsoft supports the following languages with ICP: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
The last three digits are the hotfix version number (which can range from .x001 to .x399). Hotfixes are accumulated and may be included in the next service pack. A service pack version overwrites the ICP version until the new service pack ICP build is released.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Glass, Jim (16 February 2007). "Microsoft Product Build (version) numbers". Microsoft. Retrieved 8 May 2011. The format is as follows: [MAJOR VERSION].[MINOR VERSION].[BUILD NUMBER].[REVISION NUMBER] 
  2. ^ Nirmal. "Windows OS Version Numbers". Nirmaltv. Retrieved 8 May 2011.