Microsoft is currently in the process of developing two new iterations of Windows, one as an update for the already available Windows 8.1 Update and another as a whole new release. Windows 8.1 Update 2 is set to launch in August/September of this year, and Windows 9 is said to be launching next year in 2015.
Leaks regarding both iterations of Windows have been scarce thus far, and same goes today as only a smallt tidbit of more information has leaked. Whilst we still don't know what's in Windows 8.1 Update 2, we do have an understanding as to it's size and pricing.
We recently reported that Windows 8.1 Update 2 would be 3GB, whilst that's correct, the update itself won't actually be 3GB. Update 1 was around 700MB, and that should be the same for Update 2. Of course, the 3GB references the full release of Windows 8.1 Update 2. Much like Update 1, Microsoft will release ISO's with Update 2 slip streamed.
Windows 8.1 Update 2 is almost finished according to WZOR, and that Microsoft are currently discussing the ways in which they could offer it to existing users. Update 2 will require new license keys, and will offer it to Windows 8.0 users for a small fee. The update will be free for Windows 8.1 Update 1 users of course. The alternative method for Windows 8.0 users would be to update to Windows 8.1 for free, and then to Update 1 and then to Update 2.
Users who purchase PC's with Windows 8.1 Update 2 may also receive a discount (and maybe even free) when upgrading to Windows 9.
Now onto Windows 9, Microsoft is currently in the process of developing Windows 9 alongside Update 2. Windows 9 was originally rumored to launch in Spring 2015, but due to the Chinese government's recent choice to ban Windows 8 from government production machines, Microsoft has entered what WZOR is calling "panic mode" which pretty much means the Windows team are a little worried about the fate of Windows 9.
What does this mean? Well, it's possible that this choice by the Chinese government has affected the original release date of Windows 9.
This choice by the Chinese government may also be the reason Microsoft has postponed the return of the Start Menu. The Start Menu was originally set to arrive with Update 2, but then was pulled for unknown reasons. Microsoft could be saving it for Windows 9 to make it more appealing for the Chinese government, and for marketing reasons too.
As per usual, we suggest you take what you read here with a grain of salt.