Microsoft Sends Out Dueling Invitations for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Events

Microsoft is setting the tone for this holiday season by sending out two invitations for events that highlight the two critical products the company is releasing in time for the winter holidays.

The first event will take place on Oct. 25 in New York City; the press is invited to come “celebrate Windows 8,” including a Microsoft Surface Reception. The Windows Phone team also sent out an invitation today, asking people to “meet Windows Phone 8.” The event will take place in San Francisco on Oct. 29 at 10 am PT.

Neither invitation is a shocker, given that everyone knows that the two products are coming; Microsoft already asked folks to save the date for the New York event.

On the phone side, Samsung, HTC and Nokia have all unveiled Windows Phone 8 handsets, but have not given specific pricing or timing. Further, Microsoft has been holding back on some of the key features of the operating system, though it has announced a big architectural shift to use Windows, rather than Windows CE under the hood.

Meanwhile, the competition has hardly been standing still, with Apple launching the iPhone 5 and Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others announcing new Android devices.

On the Windows side, Microsoft has announced plans for Surface, but has yet to share key details on price.

AllThingsD’s Ina Fried contributed to this report.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus