Windows Phone 8 Release Date Imminent: Microsoft Ships Invitations, Preorders Expected To Begin This Month

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Microsoft will be holding a press event this month to introduce its new Windows 8 operating system and celebrate its first tablet launch, but that isn’t the only unveiling to come from the company this month. The PC software-maker has just send out invitations for an event specifically focused on the release of Windows Phone 8.

The mobile software reception comes just days after Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch party on Oct. 25 in New York City. With its Windows Phone 8 reveal, the Redmond, Wash.-based software company is travelling across the pond to London to divulge more details on its next mobile venture.

“Meet Windows Phone 8,” reads the invitation.  

Microsoft has tried to keep its smartphone software under wraps by providing limited demos, including one in July that showcased a more flexible home screen. According to Microsoft’s Windows Phone senior product manager Greg Sullivan, the smartphone operating system will be tied closely to Windows 8.

“There are a whole series of…new capabilities and features that will come that we haven’t talked about and there’s integration with Windows 8 that we’ll demo closer to the date,” Sullivan told TechCrunch in July.

As the purported release date for Windows Phone 8 approaches, which is expected to come in early November, manufacturers and network carriers are beginning to share more information. On Monday T-Mobile USA announced that it plans to exclusively carry Nokia’s Lumia 810, which is a variation of the mid-range Lumia 820 that was unveiled this summer.

Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8 devices, the Lumia 920 and 820, will be released as an AT&T exclusive.

“Exclusive to our customers and featuring unique innovations in imagining technology, wireless charging, and a bright, sensitive display—all on the nation’s largest 4G network—the Lumia 920 will be one of the hottest phones for the holidays,” said Jeff Bradley, senior VP of Devices and Developer Services for AT&T in a statement.

However—Verizon subscribers shouldn’t lose hope. It’s possible that the carrier will launch a variation of one these Lumia devices similar to T-Mobile’s Lumia 810.

Microsoft’s event invitation and announcements from cellphone carriers are strong signs that Windows Phone 8 is on the horizon, and a new rumor pushes this notion even further.

The first Windows Phone 8 devices are said to be available for preorder in the US on Oct. 21, according to The Verge. Sources familiar with AT&T and Microsoft’s plans have revealed this information to the tech news source, saying that these preorders will include Nokia’s Lumia 920 and the HTC 8X.

This source also told The Verge that the release date for these Windows Phone 8 devices is slated for early November, just as previous rumors had indicated. A spokesperson for Microsoft did not add any further information, saying that “Windows Phone 8 phones will be available to customers later this year.”

Windows Phone 8 preorders coming prior to Microsoft’s London event may come as a surprise to some. This means that information such as pricing and availability could be made public before Microsoft officially unveils the software. 

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