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Windows Phone 8 gets spiffing 29 October UK debut

Windows Phone 8 is set to launch in Britain on the same day as it will in the US.

Uncork the champers, string up the bunting and activate the Queen -- Windows Phone 8 is primed for a very British debut on 29 October, the same day that Microsoft's new operating system goes live in the US.

We've been sent a 'save the date' invitation to a London-based box social in just under three weeks' time, where we'll doubtless see Microsoft espousing the virtues on Windows Phone 8, and hopefully showing off some new devices.

Intriguingly, the phone on the invitation has an LTE icon in the top left corner. We know that the Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 will be among the first 4G-capable smart phones in the UK -- perhaps we'll see some more 4G-related information at the bash.

Microsoft hasn't let members of the press dive into the new operating system yet -- restricting access in some sessions to the lock screen. Perhaps we'll see a few as-yet-unseen features revealed at the launch, or perhaps Microsoft has just been wary of revealing any bugs or glitches in the unfinished software.

The event coincides with a stateside event in San Francisco that we heard about last week. The lack of a British equivalent had me worried that Microsoft could be launching Windows Phone 8 in the UK later than in the US, but based on the identical timing of the two events, that doesn't seem likely any more.

While it's not specifically Windows Phone 8-related, Ballmer and pals still haven't given Microsoft's Surface tablet a price tag. I'm desperate to know how much this flapping tablet will set shoppers back, so fingers crossed we get some information in this department at the event, or preferably before.

Plenty will have changed between now and the Windows Phone 8 event -- Microsoft will have released the touchscreen-optimised Windows 8 into the wild, and we may even have got a glimpse of Apple's anticipated iPad mini.

Are you looking forward to Windows Phone 8? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.