It's shaping up to be a hell of an October for Microsoft. We've known for a while that Windows 8 will be available (alongside a large and growing set of hardware) on October 26th, but according to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley Windows Phone 8 is set to be launched only three days later. On the 29th, Microsoft will reportedly have an event on the West coast to launch the new operating system, and then handsets running the new OS (one of which we've already seen) will be available a week or so later. The timing certainly makes sense: the four days following that announcement are Microsoft's Build conference, where developers will have a chance to talk about all things Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. This fall we'll finally get a chance to answer the question: is there a place in the market for Windows Phone?

Foley has some details about Windows 8, too. On October 25th, Microsoft will apparently hold a launch event for Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface, and the device and OS will be available at midnight the same day. On that same front, we're hearing from sources that there will be Windows 8 devices promoted in stores starting on October 12th, though they won't be available for purchase until two weeks later. On the 19th, ads for Windows 8 products will start appearing in full force, and of course on the 26th all hell will break loose.