Software giant Microsoft's next operating system Windows 8 will be available in 2012, said the company's chief Steve Ballmer at the Microsoft Developer Forum in Tokyo on Monday, Reuters reported.

Ballmer said the company is working hard on the production of the next version of Windows OS, which is likely to hit tablet computers as well, said PC Magazine report.

There have been a lot of rumors regarding the features of Windows 8. However, Ballmer has not yet made any comments on that.

Although Ballmer didn't share any details on the upcoming Windows OS, he did mention a few areas in which Microsoft will be investing. Natural user interface, said Ballmer, is one of those areas.

The Microsoft chief also shared information on Windows Phone and said that the next upgrade, codenamed Mango, is expected to bring almost 500 new features.