Nokia Windows Phones on the guest list for 17 August release party?

Ain't no party like a Microsoft and Nokia party, on 17 August -- but will the guest of honour be a Nokia Windows Phone?

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Ain't no party like a Nokia and Microsoft party! The software giant behind Windows Phone and the financially troubled Finnish phone flinger are getting together for a soiree in Germany -- but will the guest of honour be a Nokia Windows Phone?

Nokia plans to launch its first smart phones using Windows Phone software before the end of the year. The launch can't come soon enough: Nokia just announced an eye-watering loss, and Windows Phone increasingly looks like Nokia's last chance to stay in the game, as Apple and Android continue to devour the smart phone market.

The party takes place at gaming get-together Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, on 17 August.

Nokia and Microsoft promise a special location, live music, and free booze for party-goers, as well a raffle. A raffle! Sounds like our kind of party, and indeed our console-loving compadres from GameSpot UK will be hitting Gamescom for all the latest gaming news, reviews and videos at gamescom.gamespot.com -- followed by hitting the hottest parties for a few rounds of technically illegal cocktails, Naked Twister and Pin The Tail On The PR.

It'll be a serious letdown if Nokia don't unveil a Windows Phone at the Gamescom event -- otherwise what's the point of the two companies teaming up to host the party? At the same time, we'd have expected Nokia to have a standalone event to launch the new line of phones rather than do it at a gaming conference.

If 17 August is the date we've all been waiting for, it's much sooner than we'd previously thought. Previously, we were expecting the first Nokia Windows Phone devices at Nokia World, the company's annual gathering in London, which isn't until October. Perhaps Nokia and Microsoft will announce the first Windows Phones in August, then show them off in the flesh at Nokia World.

The first hint at the WP7 phone is Nokia's briefly glimpsed Sea Ray prototype, based on the newly announced Nokia N9. Nokia's latest phone is the 500, running Symbian software, while the latest update to Windows Phone 7.5 -- known as Mango -- has appeared on a new phone in Japan. Nokia devices will have Mango built-in from the get-go.

Are you excited about the prospect of a Nokia Windows Phone in just over two weeks? And if a new phone isn't on the cards, what else could Nokia and Microsoft be working on? Stick your party hat on and kick it 'til your shoes fall off in the comments section or on our Facebook page.