From the "you heard it here first" department: Microsoft has finally confirmed what loyal readers of All About Microsoft have known for a month-plus. The company will officially launch Windows Phone 8 on October 29.
The launch venue will be somewhere in San Francsico, according to this invitation which Microsoft mailed to us media types on October 4.
It's important to keep in mind what "launch" means in this case. October 29 is not the day that Windows Phone 8 devices will be in stores. It isn't the date that all carriers will be opening up for pre-orders. (That pre-order date will likely be sooner for most.)
October 29 is the date when Microsoft will hold its "big reveal" for Windows Phone 8 and finally, at long last, disclose the full set of features it has baked into the Windows Phone 8 operating system, codenamed "Apollo." It's also the date, if Microsoft sticks to its revised schedule, when the Windows Phone 8 software development kit (SDK) should be available publicly to all developers. (Yes, it's later than expected, wanted or needed by many.)
Here in the U.S., we already know there will be Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 on AT&T (with the Lumia 920 exclusive on AT&T for some unknown period of time) coming out in November. The HTC 8X and 8S are set to roll in early November, as well, on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile. We don't have pricing yet for any of these phones.