Today Skype announced a “preview” release of Skype for Windows Phone 8. While it appears to have many of the features of Skype for Windows 8 on the Microsoft Surface, there remains one major question: where can I acquire it in Canada?
I have searched the three major Canadian wireless carrier sites (Rogers, Telus Mobility and Bell Canada); on the first two I only find six outdated Windows Phone 7.5 offerings from Nokia. No sign of the Nokia 920 yet. And, frankly, while I had several Nokia mobile phones in the early days of cellular services, Nokia has never had a significant presence in the Canadian smartphone market.
At the moment it seems only Microsoft Canada employees will be able to check it out; however, maybe a hint of consumer distribution will come at the opening of Canada’s first Microsoft Store in Toronto on Friday. While Rogers has announced an agreement to promote Windows 8 product, it seems like getting them into the full retail channel is taking time.
Software needs a compatible hardware platform; at least that has always been a requirement in the past to take full advantage of its feature set. What will be the Microsoft Canada distribution strategy for Windows Phone 8?
Update: at the launch of the Toronto Microsoft store in mid-November, it was announced that Windows Phone 8 handsets, in the form of Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8X HTC, are now available from Rogers as the exclusive Canadian carrier.