Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer confirmed on Monday, that the company's next generation of Windows systems will be released in 2012 and new Windows phone with 500 additional features will be launched in Japan at the end of this year.

Speaking at Microsoft's Developer Forum in Tokyo, Japan, Ballmer hinted that Microsoft is looking forward to releasing a bunch of systems by the end of next year.

We're obviously hard at work on the next version of Windows... We have a brand new user interface. We've added touch, and ink, and speech. And yet, as we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there's a whole lot more coming, said the Microsoft chief.

As we progress through the year, you ought to expect to hear a lot about Windows 8. Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs, a variety of different form factors, he said.

Microsoft is excited about Windows Azure which is a large cloud platform for storing data, based on listening post around the world, where developers can write information that processes it and tries to model what's going to happen next for geological activity and oceanographic activity around the world.

“Supporting a hybrid environment is a very important part of our cloud strategy,” he said.