Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS will launch on Oct. 29, just a few days after Windows 8 launches, according to a new report from ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. But with a launch more than a month after the iPhone 5, is Microsoft seriously hurting Windows Phone 8’s potential reach?

Just yesterday, Samsung showed off its first Windows Phone 8 device, the slick-looking ATIV S. Nokia is expected to show off its first WP8 devices next week at a big event in New York City. By showing off these devices now, the companies hope to stoke excitement for their upcoming releases in October.

But if the iPhone 5 does really debut on Sept. 12 and hits stores on Sept. 21, as all rumors indicate, that will give Apple more than a month to get consumers hooked on its next powerhouse. One analyst has predicted that Apple could sell 50 million iPhone 5s in the U.S. during its first few months of availability, a steep increase above its record 37 million iPhones sold in its launch quarter.

We expect Windows Phone 8 devices will be quite competitive with the iPhone 5. Samsung’s ATIV S will offer a 4.8-inch screen, 1.5-GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2,300 MAh battery. Nokia’s next flagship phone will likely carry similar specs and could even offer a crazy powerful camera in line with its PureView phone.

Stay tuned for more in the next few weeks. Things in the mobile scene are about to get crazy.

Photo credit: Microsoft