It can be pretty confusing with Microsoft's different operating systems for different devices with the inclusion of Windows 8 for desktop PCs. However, it seems that Microsoft is seeking to combine the operating system for tablets and smartphones into one.
Enter Windows 9, an operating system from combining Windows RT and the Windows Phone OS. The operating system is slated to come out sometime in 2015 but an early build of the upcoming OS could be coming out in an event on Sept. 30. The details regarding the event however are still undisclosed. Microsoft's numbering scheme has always been around since the earliest OS builds, with titles like Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 7, and Windows 8. With the upcoming Windows 9, it seems the scheme won't matter anymore. Instead of releasing big new operating systems, Microsoft plans to simply release continuous updates for the upcoming Windows 9.
As of right now, we expect to see Windows 9 in a preview build as early as September 30. The latest report from The Verge cites sources close to the matter with knowledge that press preview event will take place on that date. There are no details of where the event will take place or when exactly the preview build will be released, but we'll take it.
Microsoft communications chief Frank Shaw said the company wasn't ready to talk about how often Windows might come out when we spoke to him in January, but he agreed "you have certainly seen across a variety of our products a cadence that looks like that; Windows Phone is a good for example of that, our services are a good example of that".
We don't know if Windows 9 will be available as an upgrade from Windows 7 that you can buy as a standalone product or if you'll have to have Windows 8 to get the upgrade. But it may not be with us for a while yet – Windows business chief Tami Reller has talked about "multiple selling seasons" for Windows 8, meaning that we'll likely have several versions of it.