launch

The Samsung ATIV S was the first Windows Phone 8 smartphone to be announced, and was unveiled earlier this year at IFA 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Unfortunately it seems the device is set to be the last Windows Phone to arrive, even after the Nokia Lumia 820 and HTC 8S. So what's going on with Samsung's latest Windows Phone?

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We're still not sure just how many Windows Phone 8 devices both Nokia and HTC have sold thus far, but Steve Ballmer has informed shareholders in a meeting on Wednesday that Windows Phone handsets in the month since launch were 300 percent higher than the same period last year - we have growth.

Should what the executive revealed in the meeting be accurate, Windows Phone sales are increasing with the launch of new hardware. But until we see official numbers it'll remain speculation as to just how much the platform has grown by. Unfortunately, Ballmer failed to announce how many devices have been sold.

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UK retailer Phones4u has announced (via press release distributed today) that the company will be holding several Windows Phone 8 events in selected stores across the UK. The launch events, partnering with Microsoft, will take place in three key Phones4u stores this week - Market Street, Manchester; Merry Hill Shopping Centre, Brimingham; and Metro Centre, Gateshead.

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Today is the day for many of you in the U.S. as AT&T has finally put on sale the Nokia Lumia 920 ($99 on contract) and the HTC 8X (starts at $99, up to $199). These mark the first Windows Phone 8 devices on the market and are the start of what we hope is a big wave of advertising and adoption. Look for our Lumia 920 review later on today.

The question for you is simple: Did you get one? Take the poll after the break and let us know.

Contest: Share your AT&T stories in comments, tell us what you think of your phone or share inventory status for your location and you we’ll randomly choose three of you for a $50 gift certificate to our store to stock up on accessories for your new phone! Also, head to our forums (920, 8X) for more in depth discussion!

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Although Windows Phone 8 was announced last week, we’re still waiting on Verizon to announce some dates for their release (luckily pricing was mentioned).

Windows Phone Central just received some internal training documents that share some points for reps to sell the phones to customers. What’s more, we have the first written confirmation of wireless charging for the HTC 8X. From the training document, Verizon notes the following: “Wireless charger is built in so you can charge your phone wirelessly with a wireless charging pad (sold separately)”

Wireless charging for the HTC 8X was first reported by the Verge a few days ago and although we had little reason to doubt them, it’s still nice to see that feature officially listed in these documents. Indeed, that really is a huge selling feature for what is already an excellent device. Although the 8X doesn’t match the AT&T-exclusive Lumia 920 in some features, HTC can check that off as not being one.

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Just a quick reminder that today Microsoft will officially launch Windows Phone 8.  The launch event is being held in San Francisco and is slated to start at 10AM PST / 1PM EST.  Microsoft will show off to the world their new mobile OS originally code named ‘Apollo’.

Along with all the Windows Phone goodness, maybe availability and pricing will come into better focus from the various carriers slated to carry these new devices.

Whatever may develop, Windows Phone Central will of course be there in sunny San Francisco to cover the event and bring you all the news as it happens. Afterwards, we're off to BUILD 12 the very next day to continue our Windows Phone 8 coverage.

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We have had a few of you send in photos from around the US today showing some MS Stores opening and sure enough, there are some crowds.

While none of it touches New York City and Times Square, it’s a good sign that quite a few people are interested in the Surface. And those kiosks seem like a great way to intercept people traversing stores in the mall.

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A fan snapping the opening event with a Windows Phone

Last night, Microsoft finally kicked off the Surface RT here in New York City and they did so with great enthusiasm.

We were there for the event, which kicked off at about 9:45PM EDT right in the middle of Times Square.  Some folks had begun lining up earlier that day and Microsoft gave them some free Surface jackets for their trouble. The line itself had a few hundred people and it took about nearly two hours just to get into the Store as they had it very controlled--only a specific number of people could enter at a given time, pending others exiting.

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Microsoft is committed to getting as many consumers on-board with its Surface Windows 8 tablets as possible. To help achieve this goal, the company is opening up a number of Surface Experience Centres where consumers will be able to get some hands-on milage with Surface hardware. There's nothing compared to actually using a product before making the purchase, right?

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In case you were at work or preoccupied, you can now go back and re-watch the Windows 8 and Surface RT demonstrations and announcements from this morning. That’s the good news.

The bad news is this is still in Silverlight and you have to manually rewind back to the 1:17:45 mark (or 3:33:00 for Surface). And sorry for those scroll bars but you can blame Microsoft for that one. Hopefully Microsoft will have a YouTube version up later in the day for the rest of you living in a non-Silverlight world aka probably most of you. (You can also watch it on Microsoft's site here). 

Watch after the break...Thanks, Marco300, for the tip 

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When Surface was first shown off it came with a dark and moody trailer but since then we haven’t seen anything like that.

Microsoft has just released a new commercial in a very similar style. Out with the dancing and in with the future tech theme.

The music sounds like the same used in the original trailer “Surface by Microsoft” and it has the same brooding tone. We’re not sure if this is mass market appeal here but will certainly sate the tech crowd who seem more switched on by these segments.

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Microsoft is set to hold an event on October 29th for Windows Phone 8 in Madrid, Spain. The company plans to unveil the next version of its mobile operating system to the world, which will pave the way for hardware to be released and carriers to begin rolling out new plans for Windows Phone 8 devices. Much like Munich, Germany and Milan in Italy, Microsoft appears to be attempting to synchronise each event to progress simultaneously.

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As we get close to the big Windows Phone 8 announcement next week, certain bits of info are starting to leak out. Case in point, Verizon has been a sieve lately and now we have what looks to be some credible info on two important aspects: pricing and availability.

First up is the expected release date: Monday, November 12th. That coincides with some other info we were tipped on including Verizon employee training that is occurring now and an HTC “Save the date” for the 6th. While AT&T is presumably still beating Verizon here for a launch, it is by mere days. In fact, T-Mobile is then expected to launch their phones just 48 hours later.

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Windows Phone 8 is almost upon us but before that we still have Windows 8 launch to get through. Looks like retailers in the Singapore are going to use that weekend to start pushing the HTC 8X in a promo sale.

The offer is set to last for three days only from 26th to the 28th of October, this is way ahead of the official launch on 3rd November so this could be one to look out for.

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