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According to multiple publications, Microsoft has internally signed off Windows Phone 8 as “code complete” or, in more formal terms, released to manufacturing (RTM). Check out the details after the jump.

The news comes from Mary Jo Foley – a blogger who focuses on covering Microsoft – over on ZDNet in the form of a post in which she cites her “contacts” who have confirmed to her that Microsoft has shipped Windows Phone 8 Apollo to manufacturers for final integration in their smartphones.

Foley’s report is separately confirmed by photos posted online by a Microsoft employee showing other Microsoft employees signing on a large poster of Windows Phone 8 Apollo. The poster has a tile that very clearly says RTM – release to manufacturing.

The photo below shows Corporate VP at Windows Phone Division, Terry Myerson’s signing:

windows-phone-8-rtm1

Officially, Microsoft still has nothing to share at the moment about the development state or release date of Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone 8 was first shown back in June. It comes with a very solid bunch of new features including core components being shared with Windows 8 + native code support for easier development, support for multi-core chips, HD displays, microSD cards, an all new Start screen, Nokia maps, video chat integration for VoIP services like Skype, in-app purchases, and, of course, the long awaited screenshot support.

Nokia’s Lumia 920 with PureView will be among the first smartphones to come with Windows Phone 8. It will be directly competing against Apple’s recently unveiled iPhone 5, and Samsung’s Galaxy S III. It’s release date, too, is not confirmed at the moment but there are rumors of it launching in late October.

Current owners and users of Windows Phones will not be getting Windows Phone 8, but will instead get Windows Phone 7.8 which includes the all new start screen and other features from Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone 8 and Nokia Lumia 920 are important products for both Microsoft and Nokia, as the two companies have so far struggled to gain as significant a traction in the smartphone industry as Apple’s iOS / iPhone, Google’s Android OS and Samsung’s Galaxy S series of smartphones.

If today’s report is true, Microsoft should be officially announcing Windows Phone 8 RTM in the next few days.

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