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Report: Windows Phone 8 To Launch Late October

Windows Phone 8, the next generation of Microsoft's flagship smartphone operating system, will officially launch on Oct. 29, according to a report by veteran Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley.

Foley was provided the date by an unnamed source who is "privy to Microsoft's event plans." The launch event will likely take place in either San Francisco or Los Angeles, the source told Foley, but did not give any specifics.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the company has "no comment on [Foley's] report."

"We look forward to offering Windows Phone 8 and 7.8 to customers later this year," the spokesperson said in an e-mail. Windows Phone 7.8 is a forthcoming update for Windows Phone 7.5 devices, which will not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 due to hardware restrictions. The 7.8 update will let users of older devices experience at least one of the features available on Windows Phone 8: a more customizable Start screen.

Microsoft is already expected to make a major Windows Phone 8 announcement on Sept. 5 at a New York City press event that will be held jointly with Nokia. Reports suggest the event will involve the reveal of new Windows Phone 8 devices from the Finnish smartphone manufacturer.

For its part, competing device maker Samsung already revealed the first Windows Phone 8 device on Wednesday -- the ATIV S.

If Foley's source is accurate, the Windows Phone 8 launch will closely follow the Oct. 26 general availability date of the Windows 8 client OS and the Microsoft-produced Surface RT tablet. A launch event for Windows 8 and the Surface RT will take place in New York City the day before (Oct. 25), Foley's source also indicated.

"Windows 8 and the Surface RT ARM-based devices should be available (at least technically) at midnight, following the launch event," Foley wrote.

Surface tablets running Windows 8 Pro are expected to become generally available 90 days after Surface RT.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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