Did Microsoft miss a release date opportunity?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: October 27, 2012

Last night, I wanted to scour the Internet to see what I could find about rumored release dates regarding upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices. Three of them, anyway. Here in the States, we’ve only been able to hear about these devices, and see official announcements about their existence, but even if we are more than two months after those announcements, we still don’t have a launch date to speak of. Nothing official, mind you. There are indeed rumors, and all of them seem to point towards either an early or mid-November launch. But, again, nothing official.

In my search, while I started to gather rumored date after rumored date, I also made sure to head down into the comments section of each article and find out what people had to say about all these dates. The reactions weren’t as polarizing as I thought they would be. In fact, many of them were in agreement about one, simple thing:

That Microsoft, Nokia, HTC, and even Samsung have missed a great opportunity.

While I think we can all agree that we would have enjoyed to hear a release date, even at the expense of missing an exact pricing showcase, at Nokia’s and HTC’s announcement events, that’s come and gone and we were out of luck. But, now that we’re twenty seven days into October, we still don’t know anything official, and all the rumors are suggesting that the phones could find their way onto shelves as early as the first week of November.

One argument that stood out to me, was Microsoft’s missed opportunity to have Windows Phone 8 devices released alongside Windows 8 and Surface with Windows RT. The comments suggested that Microsoft should have tried harder to have at least one Windows Phone 8 device available over this weekend, because this would have been the perfect time to have as many people looking at Microsoft-branded products.

That is true. Over the weekend, with the launch of Microsoft’s newest Windows operating system and their very first tablet device, there were a ton of people finding their way to Microsoft stores if they could. While Windows Phone 8 will be (hopefully) popular, there is some sense in suggesting that there was a huge chance to get the new phone(s) into the spotlight as well with all of those people milling around in stores, ready to buy things.

The only reason I don’t agree with that argument, is simply because that’d be a lot of new things on sale at one time. For me, personally, buying Windows 8, Surface with Windows RT, and a new Windows Phone 8 device (depending on carrier pricing) just wouldn’t be a possibility. I’d much rather have the devices staggered, and therefore time to get more money before I started throwing it at Microsoft all over again.

Arguments aside, the majority of comments I saw were all saying the same thing: Microsoft needed to have release dates confirmed and announced by now. Since they haven’t announced anything, there have been other companies who have. We’ve seen Apple announce, release, and sell a ridiculous amount of iPhone 5s since both Nokia and HTC (and Samsung, kind of) took the stage to announce their new devices. Moreover, Android’s next powerhouse in the Galaxy Note II will be on sale soon, and for at least one carrier it will be up for grabs before any new Windows Phone 8 device.

So, will Monday’s event finally shed some light on what we’re all waiting for? Possibly. The event is a Windows Phone 8 party, indeed, but Microsoft could just be focusing on features of the software that we haven’t seen before. We know that there’s still new things that the Redmond-based company has to show off, and this event could be geared towards that. After all, the phones have already been announced for specific carriers. That means it is up to the carriers to make the official announcement about release date and pricing. So let’s hope they have those press releases ready for Monday afternoon (or morning!), so that while Microsoft is busy showcasing new features, we learn when we can buy the new phones at the same time.

For those of you out there willing to give Windows Phone 8 a chance, are you patiently waiting for a release date to be announced, or have you already moved on? Do you think Microsoft should have released a Windows Phone 8 device during the Surface with Windows RT and Windows 8 launches? Let me know!

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