Is Windows Phone 8 Not Ready Yet?

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When Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) unveiled its new flagship smartphone earlier this month, the Lumia 920, there was one glaring detail omitted: its release date. The device is an incredibly important step for Nokia's turnaround and transition as its first Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Windows Phone 8 device, yet it declined to say when consumers could even get their hands on the device.

According to a recent report from The Verge, the culprit isn't Nokia, but rather its better half -- Microsoft. Windows Phone 8 isn't ready yet.

The software giant had been originally targeting an early October release, but this has been pushed back slightly as Mr. Softy puts the finishing touches on. There have been various bugs that have needed to be addressed, causing delays that are hindering OEM partners like Nokia. Microsoft has reportedly told other partners, including Samsung and HTC, not to demonstrate the operating system, even though Samsung also recently unveiled a Windows Phone 8 device before Nokia did.

That's why at Nokia's event the media wasn't allowed to actually handle the devices, because the OS simply isn't ready yet. Nokia has announced that it will be available in the U.K. with LTE support exclusively on local carrier EE, but there are still no pricing or availability details quite yet.

Nokia has a lot more riding on Windows Phone 8 than Microsoft itself does, since it's the OS platform that the struggling smartphone maker has gone all-in on, contrary to its prior statements about having some unknown "contingency plan." It's naturally very important for Microsoft in many ways, but not as much financially. Smartphones were 20% of Nokia's business last quarter, while Windows Phone was well under 10% of Microsoft's.

Microsoft had better hurry up, because Nokia is anxiously awaiting its OS savior.

Fortunately for Microsoft, its other cash cows continue to generate plenty of operating cash flow. Check out The Motley Fool's premium report on Microsoft, which lays out the bear and bull cases for the tech giant. Sign up today and get free updates for a year -- all at no extra cost to you!

Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (1)

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  • Report this Comment On September 12, 2012, at 11:47 PM, tektrendz wrote:

    What is this hogwash article? Microsoft has been saying for some time that the release is late 2012 - I think it was late October to November timeframe to come after the Windows 8 tablet release. I don't remember hearing an early October release to market, only of a reveal in September, and that has happened. I haven't heard anything about this supposed delay either.

    BTW, the new iphone was presented today. The windows phone lumia 920 completely decimates the new iphone. A lot of my friends are excited to see Microsoft back in the game, it is good competition to Apple going stale of late.

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2012, at 7:51 AM, llIlllIlllIlllIl wrote:

    Windows Phone 8 is on track to be released on 29 October (same week as Windows 8).

    The stunning Nokia Lumia 920 on track to be in customers' hands 2 November.

    In fact the release schedule has been brought forward by a couple of weeks as evidenced by Nokia's event date change.

    Anyone who hasn't read up on the Lumia 920 yet, please do!

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2012, at 9:30 AM, wilsantiago wrote:

    DO NOT believe anything that comes from the Verge unless its about about Apple. Joshua Topolsky who is the editor in chief of the Verge stated yesterday "I would love to make love to this iPhone 5" before it was fully revealed. Who would say that?

    The Verge is bias.

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