Winbeta reports that a source named WZOR, which has provided a number of Microsoft information leaks in the past, claims that the company is planning to merge Windows Phone OS and Windows RT. The source doesn't provide additional details, but rather states that this has been mentioned several times in the past. True or not, Microsoft is seemingly already paving the way by providing support for 7 inch form factors in Windows RT 8.1 launching this October.
In addition to the possible merger, the source also leaked a bit of info regarding Windows 9 and Windows 10. The good news is that Windows 9 will reportedly be similar to the current platform much like Windows Vista stepped up to Windows 7. The OS will also supposedly reintroduce the old Aero interface, but it won't be quite the same. Windows 9 will even reportedly launch in a year's time.
The bad news is that Windows 10 will supposedly be completely different. That doesn't make any sense given all the chaos surrounding the current Windows 8 release. Yet the source insists that this version will be entirely in the cloud, and will even be served up as an internal desktop concept on September 1. Naturally, this won't be revealed to the public unless an insider spills the screenshot beans.
As it stands now, we know that Microsoft is shooting for yearly incremental updates, but it's unknown how long the Windows 8.x train will continue to ride. The "Windows 9" and "Windows 10" labels are likely only codenames to signify a specific point in the platform's evolution rather than a specific full-blown release. These reference points could be Windows 8.2 and Windows 8.3 for all we know.
Whether Microsoft is pushing for a true cloud OS remains to be seen. Does this mean Microsoft wants an OS similar to Google's own Chrome OS that relies on HTML5-based apps and cloud storage? Or does the company seek to stream its platform on any ARM-based and x86-64 hardware set? OnLive can stream a Windows-based desktop to any Android tablet or Apple's iPad as long as there's an Internet connection to support the stream.
That said, there's a good chance Microsoft is looking to provide a Chrome OS-like experience. The Office 365 and the subscription-based Office 2013 are good examples: they're heavily based on the Internet and receive automatic updates on a constant basis without user intervention. The upcoming Xbox One is another good example, as it can use the cloud to offer features and performance not possible with a single hardware unit. If anything, our current network and Internet connections seem to be bottlenecking a huge potential of innovation and change.
Of course, everything provided here can be taken with a grain of salt. Yet there are a lot of solid possibilities going on in this set of rumors that shouldn't be cast aside as utter gibberish.