Paul Thurrott has confirmed something similar to this. Windows 8 will get major updates in the next few years, similar to how Windows Phone 7 got 'Mango' to 7.5. Yay!
So, everyone buying a Windows 8 device later this year, Windows 8 on those devices is going to be changed up in major ways over your period of ownership of the device.
Speaking of changing Windows 8, one of the dirty little secrets about Microsoft’s next OS is that—surprise—it’s not really done. See, those Metro experiences that we’re supposed to call something else are very much a 1.0 product, and the state they’re shipping in this year is very basic indeed. Microsoft can’t let Metro sit still for three years and, as it turns out, it won’t. So that monolithic, three-year development cycle that Windows has been on since Steven Sinofsky took over has been tossed aside. And for the next few years at least, we’re going to be dealing with a lot of updating.
The question, however, is what form these updates will take. (Service Packs? Feature Packs? Windows Updates?) Mr. Sinofsky announced this change to employees about a month ago in a heavily-protected internal memo that I’m still trying to get my hands on. But based on the bits I’ve heard about, everything is changing. Whether things get back to normal with Windows 9 is unclear, though there’s a credible theory making the rounds that suggests that Microsoft’s real plan is to mature the Metro stuff enough so that it can relegate the aging desktop interface to maintenance mode, then move forward, NT-style, with Windows RT.
If this vision comes to fruition, Microsoft might even reimagine versioning, especially in the product branding, so that Windows 9/RT would just be called Windows. It's already doing this with online services: You never think of Windows Azure or Office 365 as version whatever. They’re just Azure and Office 365.
Edited by FalseAgent, 14 August 2012 - 12:48 AM.