updated 12:48 pm EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Public pre-release version of next Windows version includes mandatory monthly updates
The next major version of Windows may be offered as a preview next month, according to a report. Microsoft's latest iteration of Windows, believed to be Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold", will apparently be available to download and test out as a "technology preview" by the general public, rather than just to developers and hardware producers.
Set to be released by late September, possibly early October, sources of CNET claim downloaders of the operating system will need to agree to "subsequent monthly updates" pushed automatically to systems. Though likely to be missing a few features, the preview is likely to include previously-leaked functionality, including a new Start Menu, windowed Metro apps, and a greater move toward a unified operating system.
Image allegedly showing Start Menu from Threshold
So far, there has not been an official release date announced for the next revision of Windows, but it is believed Microsoft will make it available sometime in the spring of 2015.