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Microsoft invite points to late October Windows Phone 8 launch

Microsoft has sent out a "save the date" for 29 October, when it is expected to formally unveil its Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system.

The event, set to take place at 10:00 PST (18:00 BST) in San Francisco, will likely include more details about where consumers can get their hands on phones with the company's next-gen mobile OS.

HTC, meanwhile, showed off its Windows Phone 8X and the Windows Phone 8S last month, with HTC promising to "go big" on Windows Phone 8. The higher-end Windows Phone 8X is expected to be available on 8 November, with the Windows Phone 8S due to arrive one week later on 15 November. The devices have been put on pre-order for £399.99 and £288.72, respectively.

At IFA, Samsung also took the wraps off its Windows Phone 8 handset, the Ativ S. The smartphone was not on hand at the trade show, but perhaps we'll get a glimpse later this month.

For more, see Windows Phone 8: Hands off!

Microsoft was actually very invite-happy today. The software giant also invited the press to a New York event on 26 October for the formal launch of its Windows 8 operating system. According to The Verge, the company's Windows 8-based Surface tablet will launch at midnight on the night of 25 October, but a Microsoft spokeswoman would only say that the company does not comment on rumours or speculation.