Welcome news for those owning a Windows Phone 7 or 7.5 operating smartphone. Microsoft, in its official Windows Phone blog has informally announced that the team is working on developing an update to the series 7 of the Windows Phone OS, version 7.8.
“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.”
Windows Phone 7.8 update is expected to be available for most of the currently available phones that cannot operate Windows Phone 7 or 7.5, though some of the more older devices will most probably miss the update. Apart from the update to existing models, Microsoft says, many new Windows Phone models are being developed for emerging markets that will come with Windows Phone 7.8 OS.
The primary aim of Microsoft is to pacify those loyal customers who are stuck with older smartphones that cannot run Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 7.8 will bring some of the new features if not all of them. The major one will be the new home screen. With the update, older Windows Phone users will get home screen Tiles in three sizes – small medium and large. The resized Tiles will be able to utilize screen real estate more efficiently. Also, new Themes and a few more color schemes will be added, which will give the home screens the same look as a Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
Other than the resizable Tiles and new themes Windows Phone 7.8 will automatically display Bing Picture of the Day on the lock screen and as an added feature, in case of more than a few failed PIN/password attempts the phone will not be wiped clean, if it is connected to an Exchange account.
Though not all of the Apps meant for Windows Phone 8 will run on Windows Phone 7.8 many upcoming Apps will come with 7.8 compatibility. Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars for example. Windows Phone 7.8 will also expand the Xbox services and online App markets to new geographical regions.
Source: Windows Phone Blog