Microsoft said to have finalized Windows Phone 8 OS

Microsoft said to have finalized Windows Phone 8 OS

Summary: Microsoft is believed to have shipped the RTM version of Windows Phone 8 operating system, according to sources. Now it's time for carriers and handset makers to test and preload before the October 29 launch.


Chalk up another one for those Windows Phone tipsters.


Back in July, I heard whispers that Microsoft would release to manufacturing (RTM) the Windows Phone 8 operating system in September. The plan, as of then, was that the first Windows Phone 8 devices would ship in November 2012.

On September 14, Microsoft's phone team shipped the OS, codenamed "Apollo," according to a couple of my contacts. WPCentral is reporting they are hearing the same. And WMPoweruser has posted pictures via, of what appear to be Windows Phone team members signing an RTM wall.

I asked a Microsoft Windows Phone spokesperson on September 14 if the OS had RTM'd and was told Microsoft "had nothing to share at this time."

If the OS has, indeed, been proclaimed "done," it's time for handset makers and carriers to do their final testing and preloading of the OS onto new phones.

Microsoft wouldn't allow its phone partners to let folks try the WP8 devices that Samsung and Nokia recently unveiled. I'd expect at least part of the reason for that was the OS wasn't yet fully baked. (This also is probably at least part of the reason Microsoft has delayed making the Windows Phone 8 software development kit available to more than just its own employees and a select group of Connect testers.)

Even though Microsoft already went public with many of the Windows Phone 8 features, the company has yet to "launch" the Windows Phone 8 platform. The Windows Phone 8 launch is going to happen on October 29 in either San Francisco or Los Angeles, I continue to hear. Shortly after that, Windows Phone 8 devices will go on sale. Some vendors/carriers could offer pre-orders before October 29, but phones are not expected to be available to consumers until after that date.

The Windows Phone 8 OS replaces the Windows Embedded core with a Windows NT-based one. The latest operating system includes multicore support, NFC/Wallet support, removable Micro SD card storage (for certain phone models), encryption and secure boot. Windows Phone 8 will support two new screen resolutions— 1280x768 and 1280x720, in addition to the existing 480X800.

Microsoft officials also continue to decline to comment on when Microsoft plans to make the Windows Phone OS 7.8 update available to existing Windows Phone users. The 7.8 update, according to Microsoft officials back in June, will include the new multi-size tiled OS that will be part of Windows Phone 8, but no other new features.

As announced at the annual Microsoft company meeting on September 13, Microsoft is providing all of its employees with free Windows Phone 8 devices, as well as Surface tablets, according to a report from GeekWire. 

Topics: Smartphones, Microsoft, Windows


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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    I hope this means that information will start coming out about launch dates, pricing, and features.
    • RIP, iPhone and Android

      OK, J/K.
      • one sec

        no you're right, you just don't know it.
      • Didn't you say this...

        ...about Win Phone 7? Look how that worked out.
      • RIP Reloaded, v2
        ejejejejejej. The best part is that WP7 WAS AN EPIC FAIL. Now we have WP8, and the fan-boys are again chanting, RIP iPhone...
  • What are they hiding?

    They still haven't released anything (publicly) about the SDK -- because they want to hide the features. This is totally unlike Microsoft of the past.

    Sounds like they have some interesting stuff up their sleeve.

    This is Microsoft's quote comment on it....

    "I know that many of you want to know why we simply don’t publically release the full SDK now. The reason is that not all Windows Phone 8 features have been announced and our SDK includes comprehensive emulators that allow developers to test apps against a wide range of Windows Phone features. We recognize that this is a different approach to delivering tools than we’ve taken in the past. Our goal is to generate as much Windows Phone 8 excitement as possible to attract new customers when phones go on sale. This is one of many steps we’re taking to help give you what you (and we) want most."
    • Did Microsoft really say that?

      If it's true they did, they've better have something big up their sleeve (notification center) or else lots of debelopers and consumers will get angry.
      • Angry Because Of No Notification Center?

        Please! I'd wager that those wanting a 'notification center' are the geek/nerds who are far out numbered by general consumers who don't give a rat's *ss about a stinkin' 'notification center'!

        Use your live tiles, and the rumored lock screen notifications, for your notifications. For a notification center, I suggest taking a stroll to the Android camp.
        • Doubt that is correct

          I doubt you are right - most people want to be notified of something either missed calls, emails, text messages, etc.. so most people would benefit from a central location for notifications.
          • I suspect you're right, but...

            Personally, I get annoyed that most apps on my Droid don't allow me to select which can use the notification center and which can't. Consequently, I get the all-too-familiar "left-chevron-plus" (or whatever it's called) that tells me there are more notifications than can be displayed at once. Which ones are they? Well, usually the ones I'd want to see more than the ones I CAN see.

            Net-net: I like the notification center, but if WP8 has a better idea, I'm all for it.
    • I believe...

      That it's setting up to reveal a number of prominent features and partnerships and that they have been waiting to RTM after Apple's launch.

      For example, based on what we know about the new camera Lenses feature, I expect an announcement about native support for Instagram to be revealed, as well as the Xbox Music/Videos services, and a number of other integrated services.
    • Amazing

      The company years behind and with only ~3% market share refuses to release its SDK to all but a few select developers.

      Go figure. It sounds like a lunatic strategy to me for the market loser, but every other mobile strategy Ballmer has tried has failed, so why should 2012 be any different?
      • LOL, years behind...?

        The Lumia 920 just beat the Retina out of the iPhone in pretty much everything but size and weight, and you consider MS to be "years behind"? Marketshare yes, but everything else beats the crap out of iPhone 5.

        And yes the whole "fake images/video" fiasco is going to turn in Nokia's favor since now no website, no matter how anti-MS, will be able to post image/video comparisons and get away with not including the Lumia 920. From all hands-on reviews so far Nokia's claims seem to be spot on, so I see hard times for Apple fanboys for the next two years (unless Apple breaks its typical timetable and makes a *major* upgrade next year).
  • Developers

    I meant developers.
  • Cue the "Thriller" parade again?

    That was so much fun the last time.
    • Much more fun ...

      .. than the iPhone funeral .... that was actually a WP7 inside of an iPhone box.
  • Translation: We finally achieved pre-beta quality

    In about a year and half it may be really ready for RTM .... but lets release it anyway.
    • Translate: That grape is sour

      We hear you.
    • If you really believed that

      you wouldn't be crapping in your pants, which you post lets us know you're at the moment. :)
      William Farrel
      • Why do I need to believe something ....

        ... that has being the history of MS products?

        I don't need to believe in anything. MS history shows that that is how all of their products work.