Report: Microsoft struggling to keep Windows Phone 8 release on schedule
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reportedly is working overtime to keep its new Windows Phone 8 overhaul on schedule, collaborating closely with carriers to guarantee that devices running the new mobile operating system reach stores in advance of the holiday shopping season.
Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 (pictured) in June.
Citing multiple sources, The Verge reports that Microsoft originally planned to roll out Windows Phone 8 in early October, but software bugs and testing delays have forced the company to postpone the official launch until Oct. 29, with devices running the OS expected to reach retailers in November. Insiders said HTC has endured a particularly difficult testing cycle, facing a series of issues that have prevented the company from announcing Windows Phone 8 devices as early as rival manufacturers Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Samsung Electronics.
The Verge adds that Microsoft is working with operators to minimize device testing times to keep Windows Phone 8 products on track, noting that in some cases, carriers may ship smartphones without any of their usual customizations. Any hiccups in the carrier testing process will impact product availability dates.
Microsoft is expected to deliver a final Windows Phone 8 to manufacturers as early as this week, but has instructed Nokia, Samsung and HTC to keep the OS under wraps. Samsung was the first partner to officially announce a Windows Phone 8 smartphone, unveiling the Ativ S late last month but not demonstrating the new OS on the device. In an internal memo obtained by The Verge, Nokia's Executive Vice President of Smart Devices Jo Harlow called the Atis S "a nice warm-up act for us" ahead of the company's Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, announced last week, noting the Samsung device was "shown with static WP screens as the new OS is not yet available."
Nokia prevented media members attending last week's Lumia launch event from test-driving the new smartphones and is also sending out dummy devices to the U.K. press. The Verge notes Microsoft requested that Nokia keep Windows Phone 8 on lockdown, citing concerns over unannounced features as well as some stable OS components.
Microsoft first previewed Windows Phone 8 during its Windows Phone Summit event in June. The revamped platform touts multi-core chipsets to bolster smartphone performance and optimize battery life, a choice of three screen resolutions, integration of VoIP and video chat, a customizable start screen and Wallet Hub, which combines support for Near Field Communications-enabled m-commerce services including contactless payments, deals and loyalty cards, in addition to in-app purchase mechanisms. Microsoft also will integrate remote access features from its forthcoming Office 13 productivity suite.
- read this Verge article
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