Nokia Lumia, HTC 8X Releases Imminent as Microsoft Officially Rolls Out Windows Phone 8

**Editor’s note: Please

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While there have been plenty of industry insiders lining up to bash Nokia and Microsoft over relatively slow sales of handsets based on the Windows 7-based operating system, at least one analyst is cautiously optimistic about the introduction of Windows 8 smartphones.

” … in contrast to the launch of Windows Phone 7.5, Ovum has noted an increase in optimism and support for the platform from both vendors and mobile operators ahead of Windows Phone 8, which is generally driven by the belief that Microsofts proposition is now both unified and complete,” noted Ovum analyst Nick Dillon.

Dillon, who made his comments after Monday’s official launch of the Windows Phone update, said he anticipates Microsoft’s OS will pull into third place by 2017 with 17 percent market share behind only Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

We cant wait for the world to meet Windows Phone 8, the most personal smartphone there is,” said Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of the Windows Phone division at Microsoft. Windows Phone 8 comes on a range of phones that are stunning, colorful and unique.”

Among those new phones are a series of Lumia devices from Nokia, which formed a partnership with Microsoft last year. The handsets include the Lumia 920 (flagship), 820 and 822. Most notably, the 822 will be an exclusive for Verizon Wireless, which has not offered a new Nokia handset in three years. It’s expected to make its debut in November for $100, but there’s no specific release date yet. The Samsung ATIV Odyssey, also a Windows Phone exclusive for VzW, will be available sometime in December.

AT&T will get the crown jewel the Lumia 920 with an anticipated release date of Nov. 11, but nothing official from the carrier yet. All three carriers will get the HTC 8X, but prices vary. T-Mobile will also offer the Nokia Lumia 810 for $100.

Key to the Windows Phone 8 experience, Microsoft says, are “Live Tiles,” which allow users to arrange the Start screen however they want by pinning their favorite people, apps, music, games, photos and more. The operating system also offers enhancements to the Skype experience; near-field communications technology for mobile payments; a “Rooms” feature that helps navigate social networking and chat more easily; and more.

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