From each according to his ability...
Great, so in 2013, Windows Phones will be able to do what other phones already can today. And of course, the competition will be standing still in the meantime. But Windows Phone will be worth the wait, we promise!
As for Windows Phone 7.5 being "a very good start," it's not a "start." Microsoft has been trying for years to be relevant in the mobile space. So they finally got some of it right on the seven-and-a halfth try? Good for them. (OK, I know that Windows Phone releases haven't been consecutively numbered since 1.0, but you get the idea.)
Microsoft is in catch-up mode, and I expect that they'll stay there, as this time they're not able to leverage their existing monopolies as they were able to do when they initially missed the boat with the Internet.
I believe it's a suggestion that the investment was made based more on an ideological basis (i.e. the desire to be seen as supporting "green jobs") than on a robust economic analysis. Not that this has anything to do with socialism...
Yeah, because nothing built in the good ol' USA would ever be compromised.
It is an impressive accomplishment, and you should be proud of that. It demonstrates initiative, patience, imagination and maybe a bit of ingenuity.
There are some responses here that amount to "BFD" and you would do well to ignore those. There are others that put the scope of such a project in context, comparing it to what an undergrad student might do in a CS or EE class (and without much more experience or education than you have). I believe these responses are intended not to diminish what you've achieved, but merely to point out that it isn't rocket science (if you'll pardon the use of an old expression).
So, while similar things have been done before, it's still a monumental undertaking, and the fact that you saw the project through to completion says a lot. Again, nice job. The world (or at least some of us geeks) will be interested to see what you come up with next...
That's pretty much what we did in a CS/EE class. Designed a CPU from scratch, put the microcode on a FPLA and used a bunch of supporting TTL chips. If I recall correctly, it was 16-bit, but it might have been 8. He has taken it a step further with video output, and that's impressive (at least to me).
Cases aren't hard to come by; the SuperMicro cases recommended by others seem nice, and while not designed around the Mini-ITX form factor, will probably work nicely with such motherboards. However, I've found that iDOTpc (http://www.idotpc.com) has some nice and (relatively) inexpensive 1U rackmount cases in 8", 12" and 16" depth at very reasonable prices. The 8" and 16" models can be configured without a power supply if you intend to provide your own (as some Mini-ITX boards include onboard DC converters and use an external brick).
Then you just need to choose a motherboard that fits your needs. For the firewall I used a PC Engines ALIX.2C3, which is actually not Mini-ITX form factor (it's slightly smaller), but which fit in the aforementioned iDOTpc 8" case with little modification (I had to add some standoffs at appropriate locations and cut up a generic I/O backplate). There are several models in the ALIX family--with varying amounts of network ports, mini-PCI slots, etc.--all of which consume 5-6 watts of power when active. (Incidentally I got mine from Mini-Box.com, http://www.mini-box.com).
On the other end of the power spectrum, there are boards that can use mobile dual-core processors from Intel or AMD. I went with an AOpen i945GTt-VFA, which is an Intel Socket M board, into which I installed a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo. Coupled with a pair of SATA drives in iDOTpc's 16" case, the system uses about 40W when idle and perhaps 50W under load. Of course this doesn't run fanless; in addition to the CPU fan there are two case fans (also supplied by iDOTpc) rated at 24.0dBA. The system is still very quiet, especially since the fan speeds vary with the system temperature. Incidentally I procured the i945GTt-VFA from Logic Supply (http://www.logicsupply.com), although they don't stock this particular board anymore.
There are plenty of other Mini-ITX boards to choose from, with varying amounts of CPU power, I/O capability, power consumption and of course price tags. The most common suppliers seem to be VIA, Jetway and MSI (and even Intel, which offers a very inexpensive board, which unfortunately isn't suitable for 1U installations). And Intel Atom-based motherboards are (hopefully) just around the corner; it will be interesting to see what sort of performance-per-watt they will provide.
Finally, don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't use a rackmount form factor. Sure, it might end up costing a little more than using desktop parts, but there's a certain elegance about it. It usually doesn't make sense to drive old British sports cars, either, but I'm sure those that do, understand.