MOBILE ALSO-RAN Microsoft has begun planning the launch event for the Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system (OS) that might be its last chance to gain some marketing traction among smartphone and tablet users.
The company has invited members of the press to a special event on 29 October in San Francisco. Titled "Meet Windows Phone 8", the event is scheduled to take place two days before Halloween somewhere in the city, but so far Microsoft isn't saying where.
The planned launch date confirms earlier speculation that Microsoft would release the next version of its mobile OS for smartphones and tablets in late October, shortly after the company releases its Windows 8 PC operating system to the public.
Microsoft has already shown off early builds Windows Phone 8 on a number of devices built by its OEM partners. Vendors including Nokia and HTC have signed up to use Windows Phone 8 on new handsets.
While the handsets themselves earned positive reviews in initial testing, the mobile operating system and applications have yet to be extensively examined and remain something of a mystery.
The releases of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will also mark a departure by Microsoft from many of its rivals in the mobile market. While the Android and IOS operating systems have scaled their tablet releases up from their initial smartphone systems, Microsoft has instead chosen to build a unique OS for smartphone handsets and tablets as an adapted version of the Windows PC operating system.
Wherever it turns out that Microsoft presents the Windows Phone 8 launch event in San Francisco on 29 October, The INQUIRER will be there. µ