Nokia's Lumia 920 is one of the first new smartphones to use the new Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Microsoft officially launched its Windows Phone 8 operating system today at a press conference held in San Francisco at which the focus remained on software functionality.

The Windows Phone Store now boasts 120,000 apps, and Microsoft says it expects to have  46 of the top 50 apps available on its platform soon. You can browse available photography-related apps now. The official launch of the OS also means we'll soon actually see what developers can do with the "lenses" option within the built-in camera app. The possibilities seem endless -- we imagine an arsenal of digital lenses and effects all available within the native camera app -- but time will tell.

We already knew about the upcoming Windows Phone 8X by HTC, the Samsung ATIV S and the Nokia Lumia 920, but Microsoft also teased an ATIV Odyssey from Samsung, though few further details were unveiled.

Windows Phone 8 devices become available next month in the U.S. through AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon: 

  • Verizon Wireless will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC for $199.99 with a two-year contract, and the Nokia Lumia 822, exclusive to Verizon, for $99.99 with a two-year contract. Both will be available by Thanksgiving. The Samsung ATIV Odyssey, also exclusive to Verizon, will be available in December. 
  • AT&T will carry the Nokia Lumia 920, the Lumia 820 and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC, starting in November. Pricing and contract information is not yet available.

  • T-Mobile will carry the Windows Phone 8X by HTC starting at $149.996 for the 16GB version and the Nokia Lumia 810 from $99.99, starting Nov. 14.

Is the new mobile OS piquing your interest? Let us know if you're thinking about a Windows Phone 8 device.