There have been many rumors about dates, including possibly a European launch first, and U.S. later, but this seems to peg the time exactly: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada), Monday, October 11, 2010, with welcome time at 2:45 PM.
Don't worry: you won't miss the event because DST ends and you forget to reset your clocks. For those confused about Daylight Saving Time, here's a tip: it's the weekend after Halloween now, unless the U.S. changes things again. Candy makers are quick to deny it, but it's well known that they lobbied for years to get Daylight Saving Time extended into November. In fact, during the 1985 hearings on Daylight Saving Time they put candy pumpkins on the seat of every senator.
In addition to five minutes only (!) of refreshments, it's interesting to note that the fourth largest wireless carrier, T-Mobile, will be on hand for another new mobile platform introduction. You'll recall that the T-Mobile G1 was the first Android phone to hit the market. and the company was there at the Android launch event. According to the invitation, "T-Mobile reps will be present for device showing."
AT&T has been the most prominent carrier to mention Windows Phone 7 support; however, we know CDMA will not be supported at Windows Phone 7's launch, letting out both Verizon and Sprint.
They'll also be a raffle, the invitation said, which possibly means some free Windows Phone 7 smartphones given out. Of course, a launch event does not necessarily mean actual retail sales will take place. This event will probably set the stage for the actual retail launches, detailing partners, devices, and the actual dates when phones will be available.
Microsoft hopes Windows Phone 7 helps is recover market share from iOS and Android, among others. Certainly, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hopes so: one of the reasons his bonus was cut in half was Microsoft's poor performance in the mobile market.