Windows 8.1 has one foot in the door now. Microsoft has put it up on the Windows Store for Windows 8 users to download, and the new operating system will officially go live tomorrow for all users, all over the world.

And it only makes sense to talk about the next version of Windows on this occasion, eh?

While Microsoft is getting ready to debut Windows 8.1, people are getting ready to talk about what is next for the popular operating platform.

Next up on the menu is Windows 9 — and speculation that Redmond already started development work on the next version of Windows is not new. But there are conflicting reports on when it will hit the store shelves, with most pointing to a late 2014 debut.

Mary Jo Foley has chimed in on this, citing sources close to the matter, and writes that while fall 2014 was said to be the initial launch date of Windows 9, Microsoft is actually reconsidering the schedule.

Long story short, the release of the operating system may be pushed to early 2015.

As for the features to be included in Windows 9, reports indicate that the new version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system is set to bring it closer to Windows Phone. Previous reports have suggested this much, so this is not exactly something new.

The merging of the Windows Store and the Windows Phone Store has been on the cards for some time now, and this report only endorses it further.

In terms of some technical details, Windows 9 is said to be based on the NT 6.4 kernel.

No other information is available for the time being, except the fact that Microsoft is committed to embrace a rapid release concept in order to bring new versions of Windows to the market more often than before.

As always take this information with a grain of salt. Intelligence on what Microsoft is actually planning is sure to come out sooner rather than let. So sit back tight and enjoy Windows 8.1 for the time being.

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