Microsoft is already working on a second update for Windows 8.1, but according to some people close to the matter, the company is also developing Windows 9, the next full version of its flagship operating system.
Now according to some unconfirmed reports, published by WinBeta and coming from Faikee, a Microsoft leaker who has a good track on Windows leaks, the first version of Windows 9 could emerge in the first months of 2015, most likely in preview form.
This basically means that Microsoft would provide developers with a testing build of Windows 9 a few months before the general release takes place, which, according to some other sources close to the development plans, could happen in April 2015.
Faikee, however, claims that a so-called Windows 9 Preview Release might see daylight on February 3, 2015, but it's not yet clear whether Microsoft plans to launch it on MSDN exclusively or make it available on some other channels available for developers.
Windows 9 is expected to come with some pretty big changes for the Windows platform, including Cortana, the personal assistant that's already available on Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft has already hinted that it's working to bring Cortana on some other devices beside smartphones, and Windows 9 seems to be the perfect timing to launch it on tablets and PCs.
On the other hand, Windows 9 is very likely to focus on improvements aimed at the desktop computer, as the company has promised to continue tweaking the operating system in such a way that those still relying on a mouse and keyboard would be able to benefit from it just like those who are using a touch-capable device.
What's more, it appears that Windows 9 could also bring a freeware version specifically designed for ARM tablets and PCs, but it's not yet clear whether the company is planning to offer it free of charge to OEMs or directly to end users.
Windows 9 could hit the shelves sometime in early 2015 and some sources pointed to April as the month that could witness the debut of the new OS. Microsoft obviously remains tight-lipped on this, but expect the company to break the news on Windows 9 in the coming months, as development of the project continues.
As usual, take everything with a pinch of salt until we hear something official from Microsoft and confirming the release schedule for Windows 9.