Windows 8.1 isn't on the market yet but there is already talk of Windows 9 and 10. Actually, that should not come as a surprise; Microsoft always has to be thinking several versions ahead, but the fact that details have leaked is notable.
An anonymous Russian user named WZOR, who has a pretty long track record of Windows leaks that are more on the money than off, said Windows 9 will be released next year. There won't be significant changes beyond bringing back the Aero UI, "but not in quite the usual way," he wrote. He did not elaborate.
He described Windows 10 as a "cloud Relevant Products/Services OS," which means that Microsoft would handle the computing on its servers and your computer would simply receive the information from Microsoft's servers.
WZOR did say that his information came from a third party, so we should all take that information with a grain of salt.
I'm not sure how this cloud OS would work or even if I like it. While Nvidia has validated the idea with its Shield handheld gaming device, we're talking about a PC with a powerful processor in it. What's the point in sending processing work up the wire to Microsoft's servers when my PC right here can do the work?
As it stands, the PC market is struggling. If Microsoft turns PCs into terminals, that will shred what's left of it. And even with high-speed connections, the latency out there is still enough that, short of CAD work, there is next to nothing you can do in the cloud that's faster than on a PC.
WZOR added a little gossip to the product news. He said Steven Sinofsky's departure was due to the failure of Windows 8, which makes sense if Windows 9 restores Aero and ditches the Modern UI. WZOR also said Microsoft would be broken into several companies, a move that I've heard more than one investor publication advocate.
Windows server and desktop would be separated, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, the Server 2012 group is doing great business, but let's not forget that Windows desktop and server share a lot of code, and I do mean a lot. The wall between those two cannot be too high for a variety of reasons.
He also said Office will also be separated, which sort of happened with the last reorg, and Windows RT will be merged with the mobile OS.
WZOR has been right more often than he has been wrong. Let's see how this all turns out.