Microsoft will be releasing a new version of Windows, called Windows 10. Now, if you are currently running the latest Windows version, you should be running Windows 8. The question is, why skip Windows 9? There isn't really any official reason, but I'm guessing that 7 ate 9 (get it?).
One of the big things Microsoft is concentrating on are easier touchscreen controls. This means that the Windows menu will be looking a lot different, and a lot easier when you have a touchscreen computer. They are also upgrading the Windows 10 store, and announced that they are releasing a new version of Minecraft for Windows 10, called Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta. What they basically did is port Minecraft: Pocket Edition (for iOS/Android/etc) to Windows 10, complete with long awaited touchscreen controls for touchscreen computers! It's not exactly the same, however. For one, they added normal keyboard/mouse controls, and it is supposed to be smoother. Not only that, but it is written in C++, which means a lot faster running. Currently, the Minecraft PC version is written in Java, which is easier to write in but harder on the performance. And since Windows 10 Edition Beta and Pocket Edition are so similar, they can finally join each other on worlds. Not only that, but you can join Xbox 360 worlds too!
For a while, there was some Windows to Xbox integration, but in Windows 10 not only can you play all Xbox (downloadable games only I assume) games, but you can stream them from your Xbox to your PC screen too! And when you play on the computer, you can record gameplay without any extra software.
They are also taking a hint from Apple and Google, and will be adding a voice control AI called "Cortana". Cortana pretty much does everything that Siri does on iOS. They are also adding easier window switching when using Alt+Tab, making it easier to switch windows when you are a programmer and have a clutter of programs you need open.
Cortana isn't the only thing that they are copying from Apple. Windows 10 will feature it's own browser, called Spartan. It has pretty much everything that Safari has, including reader mode and a PDF viewer.
Windows 10 is also coming to phones (there has been Windows 8 phones, and only those will get the upgrade), and the Windows 10 PC version will have better integration with the phones. Most (if not all) Windows 10 apps will share data across phones via Microsoft accounts.
Windows 10 will also feature a Tablet mode, which provides easier mobility when using a tablet/computer hybrid. This can be activated manually in settings, or used when a keyboard is disconnected from the tablet computer. Finally, they are merging the Control Panel into the PC Setting introduced in Windows 8, which means that you no longer need two windows for simple tasks.
I think that this will be a nice update, but my biggest hopes isn't for the features. I am hoping that it will be less RAM intensive, meaning that the whole system will use less RAM and become faster. This has been a big problem with Windows, because computer with 4GB of RAM or less cannot load Windows 8 Start Screen very fast, and sometimes only has 2GB of RAM free after the system has claimed it.
Overall, I like what Microsoft is doing, and is finally heading in the right direction.