Windows 8.1 is now available to everyone, but Redmond has already started the work on several other major projects aimed at its Windows consumers.
Basically, the company is committed to a rapid release cycle similar to Apple’s, in an attempt to keep its Windows users constantly updated with new features and improved performance.
Since Windows 8.1 is already bringing lots of improvements to Windows 8 adopters and Microsoft isn’t planning to launch service packs anymore, the company is said to be working on a new major update that could see daylight in spring 2014.
Details are pretty vague right now, but it appears that the so-called Spring GDR update would bring Microsoft’s app stores closer, with some pundits claiming that it could even merge the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store completely.
Such a plan would pretty much make sense, not only because Redmond wants to make more apps available to users, but also because developers would be provided with an excellent opportunity to monetize their software and deliver a similar experience across multiple Windows devices.
Of course, the Spring GDR update is also expected to include performance and visual updates, but nothing has been confirmed until now.
The next full Windows release, possibly called Windows 9, is expected to arrive in approximately one year. Previous reports have indicated that Microsoft wants to release it in November 2014, after rolling out the first testing version early next year.
According to some people familiar with the matter, the company has recently delayed the Windows 9 project, which means that we won’t get our hands on the new operating system sooner than 2015. This scenario seems a bit unlikely, especially because Redmond has until now tried to launch its new Windows version in October or November, so we’re still waiting for some confirmation on this.
Windows 9 is said to continue improvements for the Modern UI, while also pushing the app store merger we told you about to a new level. Touch will be the main focus, and so will be options and features that would improve functionality on tablets and smartphones.