Big October for Microsoft? Windows Phone 8 Rumors Heat Up
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) appears headed for two big October splashes, first with its slated Oct. 26 Windows 8 and Surface RT debuts, and, according to the latest reports, a second extravaganza three days later for Windows Phone 8, perhaps in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
When asked to confirm, Microsoft declined to comment, but the company didn’t deny it, either. Here’s what we think we know at this point:
Even though Windows Phone is an “also-ran” in the smartphone OS market, the platform couldn’t have gotten bigger uplifts than the windfalls it received in late August. In quick succession, Windows Phone 8’s prospects were buoyed by Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) $1 billion intellectual property win over Samsung (and Google’s Android, by association), followed quickly by Samsung unwrapping its ATIV-S Windows 8-based smartphone at IFA in Berlin (Microsoft heaped praise on the new entry), and Verizon Wireless’ reported plans to sell a new Nokia Oyj phone running the mobile operating system.
Taken together, that’s three colossal shots in the arm.
Meanwhile, Nokia put out a promotional video last week hinting, “Things are about to change.” We’ll know soon enough — word leaked that Nokia will unwrap the Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 820 and 920 smartphones Sept. 5. The two 4.5-inch Lumia models are said to feature wireless charging and Nokia’s PureView, an advanced camera technology.
While AT&T is thought to be the main carrier for the new Nokia handsets, Sprint, for its part, backed Windows Phone 8 early in August, an interesting development considering its HTC Arrive, launched in January 2011, was a dud. Could an updated model be forthcoming?
As for Windows Phone 8, handsets will follow the Oct. 29 launch sometime in November, according to reports. As if October isn’t chock full enough for Microsoft, at the end of the month, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 to be precise, the vendor will hold its Build 2012 confab in Redmond, Wash., where developers and engineers surely will have a thing or two to talk about on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Azure and other items. Right now, Build 2012 is sold out, as in fully subscribed.
Right after the Apple Samsung verdict, a tweet “Windows Phone is looking goooood right now” posted by Bill Cox, Microsoft Marcom director for Windows phone, made the rounds. It seems like he had a point. After late October, we’ll get a better idea of just how good Windows Phone looks to the market.