Microsoft Preps Up for Windows Phone 7.8

Source: Nokia Lumia 820 running on Windows Phone 8 | Official Windows Phone Website

The Verge reported yesterday that Microsoft is getting ready to release their Windows Phone 7.8 before the year ends. It is said that the update will bring the new Start Screen experience from Windows Phone 8 to existing mobile devices. However, details about the mobile operating system’s features remain scarce.

New Start Screen Experience on Windows Phone 8

Last June, it was reported that Microsoft will not offer a direct update of Windows Phone 8 to existing handsets. Greg Sullivan of Microsoft explained that “the nature of the investment [in Windows Phone 8] is primarily in areas that are not exploitable by existing hardware.”

The company decided to focus its effort in making Windows Phone 8 as good as it possibly could. Sullivan added, “To do the work to bring all of those elements to a platform that can’t exploit them wasn’t necessarily the most efficient use of resource.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft decided to bring the new Start Screen interface to existing devices through a Windows Phone 7.8 update. According to Sullivan:

It’s basically bringing the core elements of the Windows Phone 8 start experience, and UX, right to existing phones.

When you pull the Lumia out of your pocket after you’ve received the 7.8 update, it will look and feel the same as Windows Phone 8 device. Because you don’t have a multicore chip and don’t have some of these other elements, it didn’t make sense for us to make those investments for devices that couldn’t really exploit them.

Windows Phone 7.8 Custom ROM

Although very little information about the upcoming mobile OS is available, XDA-Developers member dotcompt managed to create a custom ROM of the Windows Phone 7.8. The update can run on the HTC HD7. However, it is experimental and it is not advisable to flash it on a device.

The ROM includes the new Start Screen experience, and it is described as beta software. Dotcompt also added that it was dumped from a Nokia device running on the upcoming mobile OS. In fact, the Finland-based phone manufacturer is preparing to update all of their Lumia devices with Windows Phone 7.8. However, an exact release date is yet to be announced.



On the other hand, Microsoft did not comment on a potential release date or additional features on the Windows Phone 7.8. But it is possible that more information will be revealed after this latest ROM leak. Meanwhile, Windows Phone 8 is expected to arrive next month, together with the Nokia Lumia 920.

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