The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that Windows 8.2 will be launched in the autumn. Redmond has just got the latest release of 8.1 out the door so this release is rather sudden. Apparently it is all part of a cunning plan to have six-monthly releases similar to Ubuntu Linux. Windows 8.2 will take over from Windows 8.1 as the company's primary operating system.
Windows 8.2 will be a Service Pack release for Windows 8.1 and will include features promised at the BUILD conference earlier this year but not found in Windows 8.1 Update 1. This will include a new Start Menu, which combines the icon-based menu of Windows 7 with a Windows Phone-inspired Live Tile bar.
The new software will probably give hints about what will be inside Windows 9. The rumour comes from the Russian pirate group WZOR which claims to be in possession of critical information regarding Microsoft's planned release schedule. Windows 8.2 is expected to be the last update to the Windows 8 family, with the next launch being Windows 9 and bringing with it even more serious changes to the divisive user interface first introduced in Windows 8.
Windows 8.2 will be released as a free upgrade for all Windows 8 family customers. The WZOR group has received conflicting reports that Windows 9 will also be a free upgrade for Windows 8.2 users. Microsoft is apparently thinking about offering it free while others say that it will be a paid-for release, with heavy discounts available for early adopters upgrading from the Windows 8.