You may have heard that Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet (and desktop) OS is set to launch on October 26th, but recent reports suggest that Windows Phone 8 won't be hitting the same window.

According to ZDNet, the new Windows Phone won't be available to the public until November.

Why is this a surprise? Perhaps it's not, but Windows Phone 8 is supposed to be part of a brave new approach from Microsoft that seeks to unify all of its separate operating systems.

Unlike the stand-alone Windows Phone 7 OS, it'll share many of its core components with the forthcoming Windows 8 OS.

The advantages are obvious for app developers, as they'll be able to incorporate cross-platform functionality much easier. It'll also pave the way for much more powerful multi-core CPUs - all of which should lead to some very pretty games.