When Windows Phone 8 was announced Microsoft also announced that Windows Phone 7.8 would be coming to existing Windows Phone 7.5 devices. The new version will give Windows Phone 7 the same start screen as Windows Phone 8 which has with multiple live tile sizes. During the announcement Microsoft said it would arrive around the same time as Windows Phone 8 but so far there has been no sign of it.
Yesterday on the Windows Phone blog Microsoft have finally talked about when its due and a couple of features. As well as the new start screen there are more colours and new lock screen options. Microsoft say that the update is due to hit existing devices in early 2013 saying that “we’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013”
It does seem to be taking some time to get the update out considering it was announced months ago.
New models running Windows Phone 7.8 are beginning to launch in many countries around the world, strengthening the ecosystem by bringing more Windows Phones to more people. These devices will typically be sold at a range of lower price points, meaning there will now be Windows Phones for everyone’s budget and need. This is incredibly important for broadening the reach of Windows Phone across the globe and ensuring we have the right product for every market.
Speaking of broader reach, Windows Phone 7.8 also expands the number of markets where customers can buy apps and use the Xbox service. Testing of this rollout is ongoing, but we’ve already managed to increase our global service coverage by over 30%, to 95 countries—a number that should continue to rise.
We know you’re eager to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update, and we want you to know that we’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013. As we work to quickly get this in the hands of our loyal users, we’re also striving to deliver a high-quality release and ensure a smooth transition for our widely expanded services.