Shock and awe may have been kept at a minimum, but the much ballyhooed announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5 today officially put the ball in, well, everyone else’s court.

Most concerned in the near-future: Microsoft, whose Windows 8 operating system is set to launch on October 26 later this year, and whose Windows Phone 8 devices were forecasted for a release earlier in the month, with the ability to update to the new software once it became available. A new report, however, now sees those plans in jeopardy.

According to The Verge, Microsoft has delayed the launch of its Windows Phone 8 devices to the month of November – after the Windows 8 operating system is on the market. Their hand has been forced, it seems, by a spate of bug and development slowdowns over the course of testing through partnering manufacturers.

Unlike Apple, Microsoft distributes its Windows Phone technology to third party manufacturers, who then integrate the operating system with their own handsets. For Windows Phone 8, Nokia, Huawei, Samsung, and HTC are all committed launching devices with the OS, but The Verge paints a picture of several makers running into production trouble, and Microsoft jumping to help/dictate press policy as they scale back release dates.

Nokia, for instance, whose Lumia 920 is slated to be one of the earliest Windows 8 devices, reportedly prevented the press from manipulating the OS at a launch event last week due to Microsoft’s stability fears. HTC, meanwhile, finds itself unable to announce an upcoming handset as it battles through bugs in the testing process, and at least three companies – Nokia, Samsung, and HTC – have received instruction from Microsoft not to show off Windows Phone 8 in action.

Windows Phone 8 delay problems Microsoft

There’s no indication that the problems are too egregious, or that Microsoft is facing a dramatic redesign of Windows Phone 8, but the report does say the company, and its partners, are “working overtime” to stay on track with the new November schedule. After all the iPhone 5 will have been on shelves for a good two months (Apple announced today that shipping begins on September 21), and as we expect to see tomorrow with the Nintendo Wii, companies tend to position hardware releases within the eleventh month in order to greet the consumer onslaught of the holiday season.

Ranters, are you eying Windows Phone 8 when its devices release (hopefully) later this year? Would the delay shift your purchase plans to the iPhone 5 or Android devices?

Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: The Verge

tags: Microsoft, Mobile