First reported (to my knowledge) by The Verge, and then by Techcrunch, the rumors are flying that Microsoft's next version of Windows, currently code-named Windows Blue, may be more of an Apple-like major update to Windows 8 instead of a new standalone upgrade.
As reported by The Verge:
"...the update on the Windows side, due in mid-2013, will include UI changes and alterations to the entire platform and pricing. We're told that Microsoft is aiming to make Windows Blue the next OS that everyone installs."
In other words, Microsoft may issue massive yearly updates to Windows 8, for free or close to free, in lieu of producing a brand new version of Windows every several years. These major updates wouldn't necessarily fix security issues or other problems with Windows (monthly Windows Update patches would still do that), but they could change the entire look and feel of Windows, add new features, and more - just like an upgraded version of Windows might.
Word is that "Windows 8" will still be the name of the operating system but my guess is that there would be some sort of suffix to note what major update you're running. For example, and I'm making this up as I write, maybe Windows 8: Blue in mid-2013 and then Windows 8: Green by late 2014. I'd also guess that there's a good chance that Windows Blue may replace the 2013-expected Windows 8 SP1 update.
In this model, Windows 8: Green, for example, may look very different than the Windows 8 in use today considering that it would be two major updates applied over the original version.
I think this is a good move by Microsoft, assuming of course that the rumors are true. What do you think?