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The Windows Phone 7.8 update is here. Well, it will be once you're able to update your hardware should you not go down the manual route. We've all be eagerly awaiting the notification that there's a new build available, but what if you overlook a new feature or miss new functionality through excitement (with or without comforting alcohol), or simply not being aware that such magic exists? We'll quickly run you through on how to get started with the 7.8 update.

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Welcome to another From the Forums! This week has been a busy one with the last handful of days featuring the launch of BlackBerry 10, as well as reports that Windows Phone 7.8 is officially rolling out to consumers. It's been an eventful day today with a few articles comparing the Z10 from BlackBerry against Windows Phone and the Lumia 920 in particular, along with our usual news coverage.

But what's being discussed on the Windows Phone community forum?

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When exclusive Xbox Windows Phone/Windows 8 game Wordament jumped ship to iOS, we were perhaps a little disappointed. Windows Phone needs all the exclusive games it can get, and Microsoft doesn’t need to do Apple any favors. Still, the game has gone multiplatform now and there’s no turning back.

In fact, Microsoft just published the most platform-agnostic version of Wordament ever. This one’s playable via HTML5-enabled web browsers. Best of all for Xbox gamers, the web game comes with 50 GamerScore worth of Achievements!

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Moleskine (www.moleskine.com) is a notebook company who's launching a number of apps for multiple platforms, and now Windows Phone is supported. As a popular and well loved company, Moleskine has a number of products available at popular retailers and is turning to the cloud and digital hardware. Moving with trends, Microsoft's mobile platform now sports an official app.

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Microsoft has posted the change log for the Windows Phone 7.10.8858.136, otherwise known as the Windows Phone 7.8 update.

While the hardware of our old Windows Phone 7.5 devices couldn't support a full-blown update to Windows Phone 8, the 7.8 update offers us a few performance tweaks but mostly cosmetic changes. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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The International Data Corporation has released a report showing an unexpected growth in the tablet market. Worldwide tablet shipments reached a record total of 52.5 million units in Q4 2012. This is the same quarter Microsoft chose to enter the competition with the Surface family of tablets, releasing the Surface RT tablet. But how did Microsoft perform in the first quarter of selling the product?

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Although “all will be revealed” at Mobile World Congress in just a few short weeks, it doesn’t mean the speculation cannot begin. A new device, RM-860, has shown up in two places to validate its existence.

The first spot is on Elbert Perez’s Occasional Gamer site. Perez makes numerous high quality Windows Phone games and he happens to record which devices use his wares. That info is then shared publicly on his website.

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Although we know many of you are diehard Bing fans and loathe anything by Google, we won’t look down upon you at all if you so occasionally choose to flirt with Google Maps on Windows Phone. While Google has infamously declared they have no plans for any official Windows Phone apps, developer Alexey Strakh has been working on his clone, gMaps, for quite some time now on Windows Phone.

Version 2.0 for the Pro version went live at the beginning of January and now its free sibling also just received a nice bump, including some Windows Phone 8 support. Although no changelog is posted, we can tell you that for Windows Phone 8 it does now support a doublewide Tile in addition to the smaller Tile...

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Microsoft is wrapping up its limited special offer on Windows 8 upgrades for consumers today. As well as this, the free offer on Windows Media Center (windows.microsoft.com) for Windows 8 Pro is also coming to an end. The company has offered free product keys for those with Windows Pro to add Media Center and enjoy functionality not offered in a vanilla Windows installation.

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Update: Files have been updated to make the app more stable and reliable and indeed it does work better now. (5PM ET)

Windows Phone Hacker has released a new “wrapper” tool called 'Seven-Eighter' that reportedly makes manually installing the 7.8 update less cumbersome than downloading all the files yourself. The app comes in x86 and x64 and is a simple executable that you run on your PC (you’ll need to give it permission in Windows 8).

In theory, it’s the same method we detailed in our CAB file post yesterday---you specify the languages on your device and then it fetches the files for you, all through a progress-bar UI.

Since Windows Phone OS updates are cumulative but iterative in the process, you’ll have to go up through Tango before proceeding to 7.8 meaning there will be a few cycles of updates.

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Microsoft announced that along with the launch of Windows 8, the software will be accompanied by a limited time offer for upgrade packages. The company reaffirmed earlier this month that that special pricing would end at some point in the future. This date of closing is soon approaching, so this article is to serve as a reminder to get in quick and snap up some Windows 8 upgrades before the price is raised.

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Samsung ATIV S heading Down Under this February

Samsung is set to launch its ATIV S Windows Phone in Australia this coming February, according to a Windows Phone Down Under tipster who has managed to confirm details for the unlocked version (not locked to mobile operators). Launching in the next few weeks, the ATIV S will finally hit the market after Australia joined the long line of countries who were waiting for Samsung to release its smartphone, which was announced back at IFA 2012.

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Looks like Microsoft isn’t quite done for the today as they’ve just thrown the switch for the Windows Phone app for Desktop app (Preview 3). The app is used by folks on Windows 7 or Windows 8 (non-Surface) for managing media, including music, videos, playlists, ringtones and photos.

While a far cry from our beloved Zune Desktop client, Windows Phone app for Desktop at least makes it a bit easier to manage things on your device. We’re still not fans of the UI (or lack thereof) and although we can’t see our Xbox Videos, we suppose that’s a good thing since they still can’t sync over.

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Blackberry Z10's camera, smoked by a Windows Phone

We've already taken a look at how the new Blackberry Z10 measures up against the Nokia Lumia 920 and now we'll take a gander at the camera. It's been well proven that the Lumia 920 performs rather well in low light situations. The optically stabilized, back-lit sensor pairs up nicely with the f2.0 lens to light up some of the dimmest situations.

The Blackberry Z10 is fitted with an 8MP, back-lit sensor and a f2.2 lens. While it lacks optical stabilization, on paper, the Z10's camera reads as if it can handle low light situations fairly well. Gizmodo had the opportunity to test things out and it appears the Z10 was not only smoked by a Windows Phone but also an iPhone and Android device as well.

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If you've checked your Windows Phone 7.5 device for the 7.8 update with no success, you may want to try to force the process, just as we did with other Windows Phone updates like Mango.

This is a little different than downloading and installing Windows Phone 7.8 manually, which we reported on earlier. With this method you're basically tricking the Microsoft servers to recognize your Windows Phone and initiating the update early. Think of it as cutting in line (and Microsoft is okay with this, no worries).

The other benefit with this method (versus the CAB one) is it means you are getting the official carrier/OEM update that usually includes the firmware too. If using just CABs you are updating the OS but not any device specific software. That's not a bad thing but it's really not ideal. 

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Tomorrow may be the last day to snag the early bird upgrade price on Windows 8 Pro, but students have a bit of wiggle room going forward.

For whatever reason if you were planning on upgrading your PC to Windows 8 Pro, you should do it now and lock in that sweet $40 upgrade fee, because it goes up to $200 for Pro. However, students can wing it for $69.99 starting February 1st in the US with staggered roll outs depending on your location.

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BlackBerry today unveiled its new family of smartphones, running BlackBerry 10. The Z10 (review) is arguably the flagship device, touted as new innovation and pushing the boundaries of mobile computing. We checked out the presentation today and kept a watchful eye on how everything was progressing. It's impressive to see how RIM (now BlackBerry) has turned things around, but how does the Z10 rank against the Lumia 920?

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She loves me, she loves me not. That’s the vibe you get with this weird Exchange ActiveSync saga/drama going on between Google and Microsoft right now. It was back in mid-December that Google dropped a bomb on the internet (and mostly Microsoft) by announcing that it was going to stop supporting EAS on January 30, 2013 – which is today.

Existing connections wouldn’t be affected, but going forward anyone trying to set up a Gmail account on a Windows Phone would have a less than ideal experience. Now we’ve got a temporary silver lining.

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We’ve all been holding our breaths the past few months waiting for older devices running Windows Phone 7.5 to get the modest update to 7.8. Great news for those of you with a Nokia Lumia handset like the 710 or 900 – starting today, the Windows Phone 7.8 update is rolling out to all of you.

It’s been a long time coming, but your Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800, and 900 have been a little bummed out about missing the double wide Live Tile action newer phones have been getting. Not anymore, you can now look forward to multiple tile sizes, lockscreens, and more theme colors.

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