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Nokia begins shipping Windows 8 phones

The newly launched Windows 8 phone software may help Nokia boost sales.

Susana Bates/EPA

The newly launched Windows 8 phone software may help Nokia boost sales.

HELSINKI — Nokia says its Windows 8 phones will hit stores in Britain and France this week, before reaching Russia, Germany, and other select markets in November.

The Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 are the ailing company’s first handsets to use Microsoft’s Windows 8 software, launched last week.

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In North America, AT&T will sell the new models, while Verizon Wireless — the largest cellphone carrier in the United States — will be the only operator to sell the Lumia 822. T-Mobile will offer the Nokia Lumia 810. All three will have the phones in stores in November.

Nokia Corp. was the world’s largest maker of cellphones for 14 years but has been largely absent from the US market. Analysts see the new smartphones as Nokia’s last chance to arrest its sales slide.

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