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Over the last couple of months, I've begun to realize that Windows Phone, and Microsoft in general, is practically in a completely different situation when compared to other manufacturers. Not so much in the business side of things, but from a consumer's perspective. As far as I can tell, Windows Phone as a whole basically just drops off the face of the map for long stretches of time, and only pops up for a very short time before disappearing once again.

We'll go maybe a week, maybe two, where we hear about a set of new devices (again), or maybe some new software features, but then after that everything goes dark. Leaks regarding upcoming Windows Phone-based handsets happen, but they very rarely get the same attention that Android handsets get. And trying to compare it to iPhone leaks would be pointless.

The more I think about it, the more I'm frustrated that I'm not hearing more about flagship Windows Phone 8.1 devices right now.

With Windows Phone 8.1 nearly complete, and therefore almost ready to ship out to already released handsets, why are we not hearing about a new device from Microsoft/Nokia, HTC, Samsung, or pretty much any other manufacturer at this point to actually *launch* the new software?

I'm not saying that there won't be a new device, or maybe more than one, that we find will indeed bring the new software to market, but as it stands right now it's pretty quiet on that front. Unlike with Apple, or even Google. With those companies, we're expecting brand new handsets to usher in the availability of their major platform updates.

We keep hearing about "unannounced Nokia devices," and yet nothing seems to come from it. At one point at the start of 2014, and maybe even at the end of 2013, we had heard multiple times that we'd get to see three new high-end Windows Phone devices revealed in June. Well that obviously didn't happen. And where's that 3D-featuring Nokia handset we've heard so much about up until now?

Getting excited about software is one thing, and there's obviously plenty to get excited about when you're looking at Windows Phone 8.1. However, you need something to actually use that software on, and I'm not sure there are many people who want to buy a phone from 2013 to run brand new software. Especially since many of those people would probably assume that, at some point in the near future, some kind of new device has to launch to replace the phone they just bought.

As it stands right now, my excitement for Windows Phone 8.1 is tempered by the fact that I don't have a device to get excited about along with it. I'm excited about iOS 8, yes, but I'm also excited to see what the next iPhone brings to the table. I'm excited about Android L, but I'm also excited to see what the next Nexus offers. As far as I'm concerned, these things go hand-in-hand, and I'm missing this from Microsoft and Windows Phone.

So, I'm curious: If you're excited about Windows Phone 8.1, do you plan on switching as the Windows Phone market stands right now? Do you plan on buying a device like the Lumia Icon, or Lumia 1020 (or 1520)? Or would you prefer to get the new software on a new, high-end or mid-range device? Let me know!

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