We’ve only recently come to terms with the fact that Windows 7 is the capable, stable OS we’ve been waiting for since XP, and already rumors about the functionality you can expect with Windows 8 are starting to circulate. Initially reported by Italian blogger Francisco Martin, the information we have so far comes from a number of leaked slides that detail a range of interesting improvements, and seem to have some credibility.

Chief among the improvements is a desire to follow Apple’s mantra of “it just works…” by streamlining operation and efficiency. Francisco reports “Windows 8 PCs turn on fast, nearly instantly in some cases, and are ready to work without any long or unexpected delays. When customers want to check e-mail, sports scores, or play media they love to reach for their PCs because they can get to what they want quickly."

To this end, it seems as though employing the new Kinect technology will be inevitable. It would offer such advantages as face recognition to switch on a computer and log into an account when a registered user enters the room.

It’s also expected to be extremely energy efficient, and by this we mean far more effective at enabling an appropriate power saving mode and returning to operation quickly. A Windows-based “app-store” equivalent and cloud-based operation and account management is being touted, along with dedicated support for tablet-type devices and less surprisingly, support for USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 3.0.

Obviously none of this has been confirmed or even acknowledged by official sources, but since all of the improvements seem like logical steps forward we’re inclined to give them some credence. The slides do, however, claim that the features suggested are more topics for discussion than commitments.

Early beta editions of Windows 8 are expected mid 2011, so realistically a two year wait would seem to be on the cards.

Via Neowin.