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Tomorrow sees the release of Microsoft’s latest hardware effort, the Surface Pro 3 ultrabook (stay tuned for our review to hit the site tomorrow). But while it’s good to see what Microsoft’s doing in the here and now, it might be even more important to examine what the company’s got going on in the future. A new report on Neowin offers updates about Microsoft’s various operating system updates, including some tidbits on Windows 9.

According to the post, Windows 9 has yet to appear on most of the PCs of Microsoft employees not directly working on developing the OS. However, according to Neowin’s sources, Windows 9 is starting to be shared with other Microsoft divisions. In all, however, Windows 9 has been confirmed as on track, supposedly for a release in 2015.

Even with news of Windows 9, it’s even more important to hear about what’s happening with Microsoft’s current OS, Windows 8 – the one that can be found on the Surface Pro 3, for instance. Currently, most users are working with Windows 8.1, a major revision to the OS that helped address some issues found in the first iteration of the OS. But the next update is going to be made available to users in short order: according to the post, Windows 8.1 update 2 (or Windows 8.2, or whatever name Microsoft sticks on it) is on track for a release in August or September.

Finally, Microsoft’s mobile efforts are continuing apace as well. Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 (General Distribution Release) is “in a later stage of internal testing and is beginning its preparations for release later this year,” says the post. While it isn’t clear what kinds of new hotness will show up in that release – potentially labeled as “Update 3” – it stands to reason that it’ll make improvements to the most talked-about Windows Phone feature to come down the pike: Cortana. That isn’t addressed in the post, but so much buzz is surrounding the digital assistant that Microsoft would be foolish not to add new bells and whistles to what’s turning into a lightning rod for attention on the company’s beleaguered mobile OS.

Considering how often Microsoft has been refreshing its hardware line – more quickly than its operating system, even – it might be worth guessing what number of Surface Pro is the latest and greatest on the market by the time Windows 9 shows up. Will we all be drooling over the Surface Pro 5 by then? Or will Microsoft do everyone a favor and pick a simpler naming paradigm?

[Source: Neowin]


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