Inside sources have informed The Verge that the new mobile OS is currently unfinished and, as such, its launch date has been pushed from the originally-planned release timeframe of early October to October 29, when Microsoft will hold a software launch event for Windows Phone 8. This subsequently pushes the release dates of Windows Phone 8 devices to sometime in November.
The minor delay comes as a result of bugs during testing, with HTC in particular having difficulty with Windows Phone 8 on one of its handsets (hence its inability to announce its devices with the new OS as early as Samsung or Nokia). The release timeframe of Windows Phone 8 devices is at risk of being pushed back even further, too, due to the fact that carriers will need to test the phones as well. Microsoft has been working with US carriers to reduce testing time, but Windows Phone 8 is already on such a tight schedule that any delays during that phase will push the device launches back even further.
Microsoft will supposedly be signing off on a final version of Windows Phone 8 "as early as this week." But due to the fact that it has yet to do so, Samsung, Nokia, and HTC have been instructed not to show off the OS, an issue we encountered when we saw the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 in the flesh in New York City last week and were instructed not to handle the devices ourselves. As a result, we were unable to preview some of the other features that the OS has to offer, including the Kid's Corner (parental control feature) and the new Rooms group chat option, but Microsoft is expected to give those an official reveal come the launch event on October 29.
Nokia is expected to be the first company to launch its Windows Phone 8 devices, with the current schedule putting their release date at November 2, with handsets from other companies following later in the month. But the Finnish company has been quick to reassure customers that Windows Phone 7 handsets will not be left behind.
In a recent post on Conversations By Nokia, the company reiterated its promise to bring Windows Phone 7.8 (essentially a light version of Windows Phone 8) to its current range of Lumia smartphones, though it never actually used the terms -- Windows Phone 7.8 -- in the post. The list of promised features, including an updated Start screen, a contact share app, and Bluetooth file transfer, however, all jive with previously mentioned features of Windows Phone 7.8.
The DigiTimes also published an article recently that stated that Nokia may also have plans to release new Windows Phone 7.5 devices towards the end of the year despite the release of the new OS, according to inside sources. The higher-end system requirements for Windows Phone 8 (including dual-core processors and NFC functionality) make it difficult for phone makers to keep prices down, so in an effort to continue to provide customers with mid- and entry-level phones, Nokia will supposedly still invest in Windows Phone 7.
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