Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 8 launch on October 29 in San Francisco

Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 8 launch on October 29 in San Francisco

Summary: It's finally official: The Windows Phone 8 launch is October 29. Phones should be out starting in early November.

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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.

winphone8invite

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.

Topics: Smartphones, HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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46 comments
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  • Good

    Once back from my holiday, I will be looking to replace my current business phone with either the 8x or more likely one of the two Nokia's.

    I probably will go for the 820, as that one has the smallest screen.

    I do think the oems have gone out of their way to release some quality hardware, but the screen size is a bit much. Any chance for a Nokia 920 design with a screen similar in size of the Lumia 800 which remains my private phone ? Pretty please Nokia !
    sjaak327
  • Any news on the WinP7.8 feature list?

    I will make popcorn for this show. It will be either that MS have nothing to offer current WinP7 customer. Or that it will show a lot, which will underscore big PR flop. WinP7 sales went down cause MS insistence on non-upgradeability of WinP7 handsets. And to date, we only know about silly tails...
    przemoli
    • WP 7.8

      MS still will not comment on when they plan to roll out WP 7.8 to existing WP users. (I keep asking) MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
      • Three months after the release of Windows 8, is my guess

        as it sits now, we have to wait for both WP 7.8, and Windows 8.

        If you send out WP 7.8 now, many will take that and put off buying a new phone with Windows 8, as they would have to wait for W8, so go with what you get now.

        They'll likely want to give Windows 8 a few months head start.
        William Farrel
      • 7.8

        considering builds keep popping up for "jailbreak" type installs I would say that 7.8 is not ready yet.
        frankwick
    • It remains

      A perfectly rational decision. Some if not most of the new features (like higher resolutions, NFC, SD Card support) are obviously of no use to owners of 7.5 devices (I do own a Lumia 800 myself).

      From the feature set, the only thing I am indeed missing is native support for VOIP, for the rest it is of nu use to me or is not support by the device I own anyway.

      To be honest, I love the Lumia 800, not only is it a gorgeous phone (which is obviously a matter of taste) but by far it has proven to be the most reliable phone I ever owned. At the moment it has an uptime of over four months (no shutdowns, reboots or battery going flat), the reason for the last downtime was a combined os and firmware upgrade.

      I am not the least angry about the no upgrade verdict and have no intention to replace the phone with another one. I will get a wp8 as replacement for my business phone (nokia E72) and might think about replacing the 800 in a year or so, hoping that by that time a phone with similar screen will be released running Wp8, if not I might have to deal with a bigger screen, as Android will never be an option, and the iphone imho lacks in the phone department and is a me too phone.
      sjaak327
    • What makes you think they went down. Nokia says they went up

      after announcing that WP8 wouldnt run on them.
      Johnny Vegas
    • Frankly, I couldn't care less for 7.8 comming out

      I'm just satisfied with what my Lumia 800 offers right now. If anything, I'd like the features of Lumia 920' camera and wireless charging, but that are not OS features.... OS as such is quite sufficient, maybe just VOIP, that I can think of. I have downloaded that emulator of WP8, that show just the new screen with smaller tiles, but I'm not sure, I want it.

      That is me of course...
      Andrej.G.
  • Finally...the wait is almost over

    Hopefully MS will have a big surprise on Oct 29. I wish they do have some features that beats the competition. Nokia has made a big splash with Lumia 920 and its camera. Iphone in no longer exciting and android is messy. WP8 has a big chance for success if they get their cards right. WP8 is a much superior platform compared to iOS and android. All MS and its partners need to do is to market it like hell and sell it, sell it and sell it.
    owlllnet
    • Thats the one thing that neither MS nor it's WP partners have done.

      They seem to have a philosophical opposition to sustained marketing.
      Johnny Vegas
  • MS insistence on non-upgradeability?

    They didn't insist on it, it's that the hardware can't handle it.
    William Farrel
    • WP7 was not MS's most shining moment

      The hardware couldn't handle it because WP7 didn't support multiple cores so no WP7 was released with hardware that could handle it.

      While I was researching Android, I discovered that even the latest and greatest Android version will work on WP7 era hardware. It won't work well (from what I've read) but it might have been a public relations nod to at least give people the option. I'm a bit torn on that because while it at least gives people the choice, it also gives MS haters the opportunity to point to sluggish performance of WP8 on single core phones and suggest that WP8 sucks on everything. Android suffers from that. Android has the reputation for being laggy even though it is only laggy on really low end hardware.

      Microsoft had a whole bunch of options when it came down to how to handle WP7 and WP8, none of which were fantastic options. All of this is MS's fault though because they allowed their success in mobile to make them stagnant and lazy. That Apple came out with iPhone instead of MS is 100% MS's fault and every misstep MS has made since then, many of which have forced MS customers to pay the price, have been a result of MS's laziness in the mid 2000s.

      All in all, I think MS deserves kudos for picking what was most likely the very best path forward. They released a new UI (they had to) and they've finally released a new OS (they had to, I suspect WinCE was what couldn't support multiple cores). However, just because it was the best path forward doesn't absolve MS of the blame for leaving themselves with a bunch of lousy paths forward.

      If I was a betting man, I would bet that WP8 will eventually fail and I say this as someone who is going to buy the Nokia Lumia 920. Let's all hope for the best and prepare for the worst. It will be bad for consumers and bad for the market if WP8 fails because it truly is a remarkable OS, so much better than iOS and Android.
      toddbottom3
      • I personally couldn't care less

        About whether Wp8 will be a failure. I don't buy phones based on market share or sales figures, but on a certain appeal of the device and usefullness of the software that it runs. IMHO the software on a smartphone is not the deciding factor, as I still mainly use these phones as.. A phone. When it comes to basic stuff like email, web browsing (which never is great, no matter how big they make the screen) and other general usage, there isn't that much difference between the various operating systems anyway. What stands out is the UI, the exact field where WP7 and up excell. No boring grid of icons but live tiles that give information at a glance.
        sjaak327
      • I haven't seen or touched WP8 yet

        So I don't know if it's truly a "remarkable OS". But more OS and mobile device choices are good for the consumers.
        Smalahove
      • All theories aside

        I purchased my HTC Mozart when WP7 was released. Even then it was slimmer, lighter, less fragile and had better battery life than the then current iPhone. It's UI was intelligent and provided me with info at a glance and the ability to just use the phone as a camera by just pressing a button when the camera was on or off was a great bonus.

        Over nearly 2 years I've had multiple updates and this phone has been faultless. When I move to Windows Phone 8, I have plenty of friends who are interested in grabbing my WP7 handset, especially knowing they'll be getting 7.8. The easy integration with Office, SkyDrive and my work email and servers makes Apple and Android seem even more awkward.

        I've developed an educational game for WP7 over a period of 3 weeks and the development process was easy, as well as using the best software development tools currently available.

        Over the time I've used WP7, I've also used iPhones and Android and going back to that primitive UI is always a pain, to stay nothing of the stuttering lags on the Android phones running their multiple cores.

        I don't really care about what MS could have done, the point is they made a better phone and they're continuing on this path.

        Time to forget about media consumption toys and move to real tools.
        Tony_McS
        • Agreed

          Couldn't have said it better myself. People don't understand what Msoft done with WP really. When I touch an iOS device or Android it always feels like going back to to Windows XP from Windows 7. Very fluid and never lags or freezes, WP8 will knock it out of the park!
          charlesdjones1
      • Yup

        In fact, Google officially released the very latest Android 4.1 "Jellybean" onto the 2010 Nexus S, which is essentially of the same performance and feature class as the Windows 7 Phones: 1GHz+ ARM, 512MB RAM, SGX540 GPU (well, that's actually much better than on any Windows 7 Phone), 800x480 screen, etc. It's just coming out, but supposedly, it runs better than Android 4.0 did.

        On the other hand, the shock value of WP8 vs. W7P might be more significant. After all, W7P phones are running WinCE, which was originally designed back when PDAs ran at 100MHz or so. That's one reason it's so responsive, but also why it had to be replaced. And the replacement is a spin of the whole desktop Windows, after all. Linux didn't change significantly from Android 2.3 to Android 4.1, and many of the Android improvements are of the nature of breadth rather than depth... it's not adding a great deal of computational complexity. Some, but not a great deal. So it still runs on the older devices.
        Hazydave
    • Re: They didn't insist on it, it's that the hardware can't handle it.

      Funny, the latest version of Android can still run happily on a single core, yet Microsoft's OS versions just keep getting more and more bloated, their hardware requirements continually going up and up.

      No.wonder the customers are staying away.
      ldo17
      • Android

        On a single core is a complete nightmare. It has made lagging a permanent feature, pretty much in the same way as constant reboots are a distinct feature of Android. It looks remarkebly similar to Windows mobile. Except the Google phone home stuff, which is of course a pretty damm good reason to stay well clear of it. Essentially all these android users are using a pice of malware to run their phone, pretty amazing.
        sjaak327
        • Re: Android On a single core is a complete nightmare

          Wonder why it’s the best-selling category of Android phones, then.
          ldo17