Windows 8 is coming. But the next version of Windows might not be far behind. According to the super well respected Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft could release the next version of its OS within the next year -- a turnaround time that would be pretty much unprecedented for Redmond:
I've heard the next version of Windows is not going to be Windows 9. Instead, I've heard from a couple of my contacts that some kind of an update is coming next year. The Windows release codenamed "Blue" -- mentioned by Win8China last week -- is likely the codename of this interim release, my contacts claim.
A quick release for the next-next Windows could mean a lot of things, and frankly, we have no idea at this point what will come of it. But Windows has traditionally been on a very long development cycle -- much longer than Apple's every year approach. Microsoft has been aggressive on keeping the price of Windows 8 down, so this could be moving over to the tick-tock style of OS X.
Snow Leopard for Windows, maybe. Or it could be that Microsoft feels the Windows 8 it's shipping is incomplete, and will need an upgrade in short order. Or something else entirely. Again, it's early, but if this is true, it will be interesting to see why Microsoft decided to speed up its development. [ZDNet via TNW]