The version of Windows that succeeds Windows 7 will include a 128bit architecture, according to a leak from Microsoft's research and development team in the US.
Microsoft employee Robert Morgan appeared to detail the software giant's plans for Windows 8, and even Windows 9, on business networking site LinkedIn, where he listed his job as 'senior research and development'. His profile has now been removed from the main LinkedIn site, but is still viewable in Google's search cache.
In it, he says he's "working in high security department for research and development involving strategic planning for medium and longterm projects".
He goes on to say his R&D projects include: "128-bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 kernel and Windows 9 project plan". He's also responsible for "forming relationships with major partners: Intel, AMD, HP and IBM".
Windows 7, due to become available worldwide two weeks today on October 22, is available in both 32bit and 64bit versions.
A 64bit option is already available: versions of Windows since Windows XP Professional x64 Edition was launched May 2005 have included it. But while XP's successor, Vista, is also available in both 32bit and 64bit versions, the latter has failed to take off in a big way.
64bit computers, which can address more RAM and are theoretically more powerful than 32bit equivalents, are likely to become more popular with Windows 7. A 128bit version of Windows 8 would represent the next leap in performance.
According to Microsoft's plans to release a new desktop version of Windows every three years, Windows 8 is scheduled to become available in 2012.