Windows 9 is set to launch this autumn, backed by a massive marketing campaign and a different activation system, a report suggests.
Russian leaker Wzor, who previously accurately revealed the Windows 8.1 update before its official announcement, published the details on a Russian forum.
He claims that Windows 9 will ditch activation keys in favour of a new online distribution method, which will bind a licence to the user’s individual PC and activate when they connect to the online Microsoft Store.
Users are also said to be able to back up the key to a special 'ESD-RETAIL' format on either a flash drive or another PC.
If the user tries to run a single copy of Windows 9 on several computers, apparently they will be asked by Microsoft to 'undock' it within three days.
Microsoft's communications boss Frank Shaw tweeted:
Some reports suggest there will be one more minor update to Windows 8.1 before Microsoft launches Windows 9.
Earlier this year Wzor said that Microsoft will release a free always-online version of Windows entitled Windows Cloud.