If you're one of the three percent (the current market share for Windows Phone) -- or someone else considering a new smartphone this holiday season, there's finally word on when and how Microsoft and its partners will make Windows Phone 8 devices available.
The three flagship Windows Phone 8 devices are the Nokia's Lumia 920, HTC's Windows Phone 8X and Samsung's ATIV S. (There are other mid-range phones from a number of Microsoft partners, too.)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the announcements at the Windows Phone 8 launch in San Francisco on October 29.
What sets Windows Phone 8 apart is how it works with Windows PCs, said Ballmer. These are some of the best new phone hardware users will find anywhere, said Ballmer.
In Europe, all of the flagships phones will be available starting this coming weekend and through November.
In the U.S., the phones will be available on Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T. (There was no mention of Sprint -- sorry Sprint users.)
In the U.S., Verizon will be getting the HTC 8X and the Lumia 822 (the Lumia 820 equivalent, not the 920 equivalent) as of Thanksgiving. The 8X will cost $199 for a 16 GB model for those on contract. The Lumia 822 will be $49 $99 on contract.
Verizon also has an exclusive on the ATIV Odyssey (a variant of the ATIV S). It is due out in December 2012.
T-Mobile will have the Lumia 810 (the 820 equivalent) for $99 on contract, and the HTC 8X for $149 on contract by November 14.
AT&T will have the Lumia 820, theand the HTC 8X. Again, no dates from AT&T.
Ballmer also said all 65 Microsoft Stores (the permanent ones and the pop ups) will have every Windows Phone 8 device for sale. And every color option will be available through the Microsoft online stores.
There was no word today at all on when Windows Phone 7.8 will be available to existing Windows Phone users. Windows Phone 7.8 is the update that will bring mutli-size tile selection to those existing handsets.