Windows Phone 8 Models Shine at Microsoft Launch Event
The Boss Closes the Deal
Microsoft CEO and Chairman Steve Ballmer came out to summarize the Windows Phone 8 launch Oct. 29 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Virtually all the major phone makers—except Apple, of course—will have a device that will run on Win 8 starting in the next few weeks.
Microsoft came to San Francisco to show the world through a live media event and a Webcast what the new Windows 8 phones look like and how they might perform. CEO and Chairman Steve Ballmer showed devices from Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Qualcomm and several others at the launch event before about 1,000 invitees. The smartphones will range from $99 (plus data plan) to around $300, depending upon feature set and storage. Most of them will become available in the next few weeks around the world. Windows 8 is a crucial update for both Microsoft and Nokia, two companies that have been surpassed in the market by both software and device competition. Nokia’s sales have been weak for more than two years. The hope for both companies is that WP8 will give them the sales growth they’ve been looking for. Juniper Research reported Oct. 26 that Nokia sales dropped 63 percent in the third quarter of 2012, from the year ago quarter, to just 6.3 million units. Android and iPhone are eating Nokia’s lunch. Juniper surmised that buyers sat on their wallets waiting for the new WP8 phones to hit the market. And now they have. Here's a slide show of highlights from the event itself. More details on each of the phones will be forthcoming in eWEEK during the coming days and weeks.