I'm really not getting what all the fuss is about here... I've seen this same argument with other device launches as well (the most recent being the launch of the Nexus 7 comes to mind - which was botched in many other ways.. :P)
First - Microsoft is not releasing the hardware - they're simply releasing the software. That being said - what little, scarce, and relevant information related to launch of hardware is outlined from the press release:
Pricing and Availability
Major mobile operators in the United States will start selling Windows Phone 8 in the coming weeks:
- Microsoft and Verizon Wireless have opened a new chapter in a long partnership. Verizon Wireless will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC for $199.99 with a two-year contract, and the Nokia Lumia 822, exclusive to Verizon, for $99.99 with a two-year contract. Both will be available by Thanksgiving. In addition the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, also exclusive to Verizon, will be available in December.
- AT&T will carry the Nokia Lumia 920, the Lumia 820 and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, all going on sale in November. AT&T will have more to share on prices in the coming weeks.
- T-Mobile will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC starting at $149.99(6) for the 16GB version and the Nokia Lumia 810 from $99.99.(6) T-Mobile is expecting customers to be able to purchase these Windows Phones on Nov. 14.
Source: Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 8
Companies, when posting these types of announcements, take extreme care to word them in a way that they can meet expectations. Every rumor, statement, conjecture, blurb, note, whisper, etc., is simply that - it's not an official statement or press release from the company involved.
With the information listed above - one can assume (and I'm willing to bet it will all happen.. :)) the following:
Verizon will release the devices listed above (with the pricing documented) by Thanksgiving, or earlier, depending on availability, etc.
T-Mobile will release their WP8 devices around 11/14... (actually just went by T-Mo today - rep there was extremely positive about the devices and said he expected them in on 11/16).
AT&T - unsurprisingly (if you've been with them for awhile - you've been through this before with other "release" dates) has the vaguest release statement. This is probably due to a lot of reasons - but primarily (IMHO) to remain extremely flexible and competitive. That being said I checked in - My local AT&T corporate store stated "mid-November" (which falls directly in line with the statement above), and my Best Buy rep, which I just double checked with today, stated the current launch date is scheduled for this Friday (11/9). There IS no official statement from AT&T regarding either a pre-order or a finalized/official launch date. Mind you - when AT&T finally does release that information - you can bet that they will have everything in place at their local stores, etc., in order to meet the expected demand.
All said and done - If ATT releases this week/weekend - I'll be extremely happy. If they release between 11/9 through 11/20. I'll still be happy (as they've met their "official" statement via the Microsoft press release). Any delay past the 20th - there's some cause for concern there (which I doubt will occur - the true target date, from a business and sales perspective for all of these devices are really mid-late November (Thanksgiving week) through the end of the year).
Also - all of you who canceled your BB pre-orders - why? you didn't need to... :) Basically - if you don't pickup the phone - you keep your $50 gift card. I'm keeping mine and also either pre-ordering from AT&T or will attempt to pick up directly from AT&T if they are truly giving away free wireless charging adapters with a purchase on launch day..
Good luck and be patient!!!!