A roadmap timeline slide shown by Microsoft at the 2009 Professional Developers Conference shows that a product code-named Windows 8 is scheduled to be released sometime around 2011 (Beta) and 2012. Development and other aspects of Windows 8 have not been detailed in public, although job listings have mentioned improved functionality for file access in branch offices.
A Microsoft KB article confirmed that Windows 8 is the next version of Windows. The article has now been changed to remove references to Windows 8.
A leaked document from Microsoft indicates that Windows 8 might feature a faster startup, an App Store, integrated web applications, improved digital media support (including AVC HD and 3D video), faster resumes from low-power states, and USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0 support. Windows 8 is likely to include facial recognition (due to the increase of webcams that are integrated into computers and its latest add-on to its Xbox 360 console, Kinect).
A Dutch representative posted on the company's blog that, Microsoft is working on the next edition of Windows and that "it will take about two years before Windows 8 will be on the market".
Steve Ballmer hinted at UK Tech Days that Windows 8 will feature major improvements for touch usage.
On October 22, 2010, Steve Ballmer stated that "the next generation of Windows, would be the riskiest product Microsoft ever made" but he didn't add any details on why Windows 8 will be the "riskiest product".