ZDnet's Mary Jo Foley is now talking about what's next for Microsoft now that Windows 8.1 is out. Ignoring the Xbox One release, she and unnamed sources point to the next update for the Windows 8 platform in Spring 2014, aka Windows 8.1 GDR1, which will coincide with the "Blue" release of Windows Phone 8.1. So far, this schedule still seems to be on track.
She goes on to talk about speculation in the rumor mill about the next "Blue" release of Windows this time next year, as sources claim that this is "looking less and less likely." The Operating Systems Group, led by Terry Myerson, is supposedly rethinking their priorities, workflow and everything else related to Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox going forward.
Thus, because of this restructuring, the next big major release is rumored to be in Spring 2015. This release will supposedly bring the Windows and Windows Phone platforms closer together, and likely when the rumored unified storefront will make its debut, not in the spring of next year. Spring 2014 may actually bring a unified developer platform instead, giving app makers a full year to create unified solutions.
As for the whole Windows Phone and Windows RT merger, there's talk that these two will become one by Spring 2015. Because it's easier to create a smaller operating system and add features to it rather than the reverse, Windows Phone is believed to be the dominant OS in the merger. Pointing to this bit of news is the new 7 and 10 inch screen sizes being introduced in Windows Phone 8 GDR3 rolling out this quarter.
With all that said, Microsoft's schedule looks to be shifting from Fall to Spring starting next year. By 2015, the Redmond company may be merely referring to the platform as Windows is given the move to a single silicon interface. Of course, everything here is rumor, but so was Windows 8.1 for a long while, and now it's here.