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Windows Phone 7.8 update won't arrive until next year

WP7

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 29 Nov 2012 at 11:39

A key update to Windows Phone 7 is set to arrive early next year, but Microsoft has been criticised for taking too long and not sharing enough detail about new features.

Microsoft announced in June that handsets would not be compatible with Windows Phone 8, but promised an update to give early adopters some of the new features, including the Start screen - and users have been waiting for version 7.8 ever since.

The updated OS is already available pre-loaded on new handsets, and Microsoft has now said it will be released for existing handsets in “early 2013”. The company also revealed a few new features.

I've supported Windows Phone as an evangelist since day one but the current thinking of Windows Phone team is pathetic

"During the development process, I used builds of 7.8 on my Lumia 900 and it felt like a completely new phone: resizable Live Tiles totally change the way I do things," said corporate vice president of Windows Phone Terry Myerson in a blog post.

"Windows Phone 7.8 also... doubles the number of theme and accent colours to 20," Myerson said. "There are also new lock screen features: the option to automatically display the Bing Picture of the Day plus the ‘A1B2C3’ PIN/password challenge to prevent accidental device wipes on phones connected to Exchange accounts.2

The announcement appears to be a reaction to growing dissent over the silence on the update since the launch of Windows 8, but it wasn't seen as enough by some users.

“Sorry, 2013 for WP7.8 - are you joking?” asked Paul_B in the comments on the blog post, echoing similar sentiments from many others.

“The people who bought into Windows Phone in the early days are being treated like mugs. With what WP 7.8 has to offer it should be released now. I've supported Windows Phone as an evangelist since day one but the current thinking of Windows Phone team is pathetic.”

Other users wanted more specific details for developers. "Features aside, there was no information about updates to the SDK to allow developers to take advantage of the double-wide tile on 7.8, which one would assume has to be part of it, but at this point you can't be sure since it was not discussed at Build," said Sergio Fernandez.

"It also mentions access to services, but it does not detail what part will 7.8 play on that, if any."

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User comments

If you can buy say a Nokia 620 with it on now there is no reason why existing 620 users can not have the update other than some spiteful marketing plan that alienates existing users, most of whom acquired these devices in the last 12 months and are not upgrades for another 12 months.

By Lorribot on 29 Nov 2012

The problem

isn't just Microsoft, once Microsoft gives the code out for release, the manufacturers need to adapt it to their hardware and then the carriers barge in and make their changes to it as well.

For my htc Mozart, I had to wait around 3 months for Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) to get their rears in gear and release the update.

One of the reasons I'll never buy a carrier branded phone again.

By big_D on 29 Nov 2012

Early adopters due for upgrade

I was an early adopted of Windows Phone 7 (Samsung Omnia 7) and am due for a phone upgrade by Easter 2013 anyway. I would like to see 7.8 live on my Omnia, but I would guess a lot of early adopters are now nearing the two year contract mark and so due an upgrade like me anyway, so it wont matter a great deal if we do or don't get 7.8 soon. It's the later adopters with the Nokia 800/900 etc range that are likely to be locked into a contract for much longer and so will benefit most from 7.8.

By skarlock on 29 Nov 2012

Not good enough

I bought a HTC HD2 that didn't get the upgrade to 7 despite no real technical reason. I then bought a HD7 on release day (effectively the same phone as the HD2) and 12 months ago I bought a HTC Titan.

Apart from the upgrade from 7 to 7.5 on the HD7 I've had nothing but bad news and excuses from Microsoft. My girlfriends iPhone has had several updates in that same period adding lots of additional features.


I had considered a Nokia 920 but I'm not going to bother until I decide if I'm going to switch away from MS or not.

By JStairmand on 29 Nov 2012

@JStairmand

The only advantage you have is that your girlfriend's "several updates" to her iPhone have probably turned it into a useless brick anyway (if my iPad is anything to go by).

Unfortunately they are probably holding out because alot of use who were early adopters will probably be happy to stick with 7.8 on a phone with no contract - they really want to sell us shiny new WP8 for Christmas!

By smn1973 on 29 Nov 2012

@JStairmand

The main issue was up to and including the 7.5 upgrade, Microsoft had no control when it was made available to handsets. This has always been controlled by firstly the handset manufacturer and then the mobile operator.

Using my own phone as an example, Samsung Omnia 7, while the 7.5 update has been certified by Samsung, my operator (T-mobile) hasn't certified. This unfortunately means that I'm unable to get the 7.5 upgrade.

This sort of situation has now resulted in Microsoft removing upgrade control from the manufacturers and operators for all future 7 and 8 upgrades. This means Microsoft will themselves certify all updates for each handset and only then make it available. In my opinion this is good news because it's frustrating for me to know there are updates out there for my phone that will increase battery life and add new features that I simply can't get because T-mobile haven't bothered to certify the update...

By skarlock on 29 Nov 2012

@JStairmand

Ironically enough you can put 7.8 on your HD2 yourself. Just do a search for xda dev hd2 7.8 and you'll find it.

By jgwilliams on 29 Nov 2012

@jstairmand

you can also get 7.8 for your titan at xda. have been running a 7.8 rom on mine for weeks :-)

By sihaz2 on 30 Nov 2012

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