We have been hearing for a few months now that Windows 9 has been targeted for the spring of 2015 and now it looks like we are getting more evidence that this development path is still on track.
The information comes from Faikee who posted up an image that is reportedly internal to Microsoft and which shows that Q2-Q3 of 2015 is the target for a preview release. Now, we know that the information is a bit suspect as anyone could mock up that image and try to pull a stunt like this, but considering that Faikee has been a reliable source of information for Windows leaks with Windows 8, we have no reason to call his bluff here.
If Microsoft can stick to its timeline, it will show that they truly are on a rapid release cycle for pushing new versions of Windows out the door. Clearly, Q2 is a ways off and anything could change between now and then, but all indicators are that Microsoft is on track to hit these milestones, based on our own separate sources of information.
The bigger question is what Windows 9 will bring to the table in terms of features. We would expect to see some integration of Cortana and naturally the Start menu will be present too. Expect the Modern UI to get updated as well but the degree of those changes are not clearly known at this time.
There is also the idea that Microsoft knows that the Windows 8 name has a tarnished reputation thanks to the less than optimal user experience at launch. Microsoft has worked quickly to backtrack a bit on some of the decisions of Windows 8 but they know the easiest fix to a bad brand name for Windows 8 is to launch Windows 9.
With that as their motivating factor, these aggressive timelines are put in place to not only keep up with the competition but to also move forward with a new version of Windows as quickly as possible.