Microsoft may be struggling to get Windows Phone 8 finished, as reports suggest that the upcoming software has slipped significantly behind schedule.
The Verge cites 'multiple sources' who reckon Microsoft's original plan was to get Windows Phone 8 finished in early October ahead of Windows 8's release on the 26th, but that thanks to delays and software bugs, we may not see the first Windows Phone 8 devices on sale until November.
While Nokia and Samsung have revealed their first Windows Phone 8 devices, Microsoft has apparently instructed HTC, Samsung and Nokia not to show off the operating system yet.
While it's tough to know for sure what's going on behind Microsoft's closed doors, a recent even I attended had Nokia's new Lumia 920 and 820 phones kept behind glass, which suggests to me that Ballmer and chums don't think the software is ready for a public airing. Samsung's horribly-named Ativ S was also not available to prod at the recent IFA tech trade show in Berlin.
With the iPhone 5 looming large, and the UK's first 4G network imminent, the timing of Windows Phone 8 is crucial. If Microsoft's update arrives too late, then manufacturers who've taken a chance on the tile-centric software could lose ground to Apple.
As for Nokia -- whose fortunes are entwined with those of Microsoft's software -- its new Lumia phones will be among the first to work with Everything Everywhere's new 4G service, which launches in a few weeks.
That could be a big selling point, but the appeal will diminish as other 4G-capable phones become available. A 4G-ready Samsung Galaxy S3 is already confirmed.
Is Microsoft moving fast enough? Will Windows Phone 8 succeed or prove disastrous? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.