WAIT!! I’m still learning about all the features available in Windows 7 and now word has it next year Microsoft will be offering a new OS... Windows 8! Unlike me, maybe you haven’t upgraded to Windows 7. Well, that’s okay since word has leaked that work on Windows 8 is well underway.

A pre-release version of Microsoft's next operating system -- which isn't officially scheduled to launch until 2012 -- reportedly leaked onto the Internet over the weekend, leading to speculation about what new versions and features the company may be developing.

Some of the features pinpointed are the Ribbon interface, a dynamic, icon-filled replacement for traditional menus unveiled with Microsoft Office 2007. Though controversial, the interface garnered rave reviews and became a love-it-or-leave-it reason to upgrade to the latest productivity suite.

There are many other notable features including a sync functionality built into the operating system and new logon and user switching functions. But the biggest change will be under the hood; Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in January that the next version of the operating system will support the chips that power cell phones and tablets, not just the traditional Intel and AMD chips that power computers.

Additional functionality will be added to make the Windows 8 operating system ideal for the growing fleet of tablet computers, including instant-on capability and a Windows app store. But a separate version of the OS specifically designed for tablets may lag behind the standard version, said Trip Chowdry, analyst at Global Equities Research.

"Windows 8 could be available as soon as this holiday season, but Microsoft won't be able to get its ARM version out that quickly," Chowdry told Money magazine.

Microsoft has pledged to keep to its three-year operating system release cycle. Windows 7 was unveiled in October 2009, while Vista was released in 2006.

(Fox News 2011)