Horror, shock, surprise! Microsoft CEO and prime fanboy of all things Windows and developer-related, Steve Ballmer, will be the keynote speaker at Microsoft's New York launch event for Windows Phone 7. He'll be joined on stage by AT&T's Ralph de la Vega and when the pep rally is over, we're promised opportunities to finally handle the official incarnations of retail Windows Phones for ourselves. We know all this because Microsoft has just dropped a kind little invite into our inbox urging us to attend its October 11 get-together. We will, of course, be there live, but don't forget Microsoft's also holding a London event on that day, ostensibly for the same reason, so make sure to be up nice and early next Monday if you don't wanna miss a thing.

As we reported last night, the company is also holding a gathering centered around T-Mobile WP7 handsets, though details are more scarce on that event. We saw an official invite from the folks in Redmond, but it looks like that showing may be smaller in scale. We have to imagine that AT&T and their GSM competition don't want to share the stage, but as this is a Microsoft launch, anything is possible. Regardless, if there are multiple carriers showing hardware come October 11th, we'll have all the goods.