Microsoft's held the line since its February announce that Windows Phone 7
is going to be ready in time for the holidays this year -- and from what we've seen recently
, we believe it -- so today they're announcing another small step in the process by finalizing the dev tools that first bowed
in March. Specifically, the gold build will be hitting streets on September 16, just a little under a month from today, while the Marketplace will start accepting apps sometime in early October. Now, if you want to throw a little conjecture at this and make a few assumptions along the way, you could reasonably argue that Microsoft wants a healthy catalog of apps available for purchase on launch day one and that it'll probably take them at least a week or two to approve those first titles -- which means that if everything goes perfectly, we could theoretically see retail hardware on shelves by the end of October. Again, that's purely conjecture on our part, but it's pretty juicy to think that we could be playing with a Cetus
in around two months' time, isn't it?