Windows Phone 7.8 will share the same Start screen as Windows Phone 8 but little else
Although Windows Phone 7.8 is months from release, speculation as to what the update may or may not contain has been a hot topic for current Windows Phone users (see our editorial on the subject here).
The site WP7Forum.ru have a mixed reputation when coming to leaks and rumors, so like anything we should take this latest release with a grain of salt.
The data itself contains the supposed feature set of Windows Phone 7.8 and it is what many of us have come to expect—mostly the same with a few new apps. For instance, Skype is still “only an app” so no new system wide integration should be expected. That’s a technical issue and we’re 99% sure the new NT kernel is needed for those advanced VOIP features to keep it “on” all the time without killing your battery.
For the browser, IE9 will remain on Windows Phone 7.8 while WP8 of course gets the shiny new IE10. Everything else, as far as we can tell, stays the same for Windows Phone 7.8 users if this list is to be believed. Interestingly, users can expect DataSmart to come to Windows Phone 7.8 as an app. DataSmart is Microsoft's answer for keeping track of your data so as to not go over your allocated plan.
Rumored feature set of Windows Phone 7.8 vs Windows Phone 8
Of curious note, Bing Audio is evidently getting TV support on Windows Phone 8. What does that mean? It sounds a lot like Microsoft has a native solution to IntoNow.
The service IntoNow is a lot like Shazam or SoundHound, it takes an audio sample and IDs the content but instead of music, IntoNow works for TV shows. It then allows you to share that info via social networks so the world knows exactly what you're watching. So far, we have nothing similar on Windows Phone as IntoNow is a small startup and WP is not on their radar. If this info is accurate, it looks like Microsoft may have built this into Windows Phone directly. That’s pretty great of consumers who don’t want to sign up for “yet another service”.
Even though this info may be accurate, due to its source we’ll still treat it as rumor until Microsoft tells us otherwise.
Update: See our in-depth follow up article to the Bing Audio + TV feature