Microsoft will launch next year its much talked about Windows 8, the latest version of its operating system, CEO Steve Ballmer said in Tokyo on Monday.

Ballmer said developers were hard at work on the next version of Windows, but did not drop any clue to its rumored features circulating around the Internet.

As we look forward to the next generation of Windows systems, which will come out next year, there's a whole lot more coming, Ballmer said.

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.

Intel’s revelation last week that Microsoft could release both an ARM-based and x86-based Windows 8 had stirred some controversy. Windows 8 running atop ARM will not run legacy applications while the x86-based Windows 8 will support legacy apps. The Windows 8 on ARM is primarily targeted at mobile and tablet platforms.

Intel had also said that Windows will come in different versions to run on both tablets and PCs. However, Microsoft had dismissed comments from Intel. Intel's statements during yesterday's Intel investor meeting about Microsoft's plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading, it said.

From the first demonstrations of Windows on [system on a chip], we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft had announced its plans for ARM Windows 8 in January. Microsoft Corp. today announced at 2011 International CES that the next version of Windows will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures, including ARM-based systems from partners NVIDIA Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc. On the x86 architecture, Intel Corporation and AMD continue their work on low-power SoC designs that fully support Windows, including support for native x86 applications, it said in a statement.

According to PC Mag, more details of Windows 8 could emerge at the D: All Things Digital conference in California. The conference is scheduled for 31 - June 2.

Speaking at the Microsoft Developer Forum Ballmer also elucidated his vision of the future of Windows Phone and the hundreds of upgrades in the new version. He said there will be a day in the future where it will be hard to distinguish a phone from a slate, from a PC.

You literally will have displays that become paper thin and very easy to fold out form your phone, he concluded. And at the same time, you're going to get more and more PC-like capabilities in smaller form factor devices, Microsoft CEO said.