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Windows Phone 7.8 probably coming late

Rum: 7

Windows Phone 8 is to be formally released in a few more hours. But guess a whole lot of us care more about its little brother: Windows Phone 7.8. For existing Windows Phone users who aren't buying a new device at this time, Windows Phone 7.8 is the real savior. There's bad news coming from Chinese site WPDang though: it'll be coming late.

Citing undisclosed sources, the site claims that Windows Phone 7.8 won't come through OTA update first. Instead, after a few weeks of Windows Phone 8 debut, version 7.8 will show up pre-loaded on new low-end devices. Afterward, OEMs will be pushing out OTA updates to older phones.

If true, this sounds awfully like what it was like with Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango): Fujitsu IS12T, Nokia Lumia 800, HTC Titan, then existing devices started to get the update gradually. Some OEMs might choose to update old phones in a manual way in retail stores, like what HTC did back then in Taiwan.

The good news is that, Windows Phone 8.0 and 7.8 are largely the same. Let's pray no one is left behind.

Source: WPDang

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Reader comments

Windows Phone 7.8 probably coming late

82 Comments

Guys, I woudnt worry that much abut getting an upgrade. I believe that WP8 OS is not that dependent on the hardware as MS claims to be and  that any WP7 phone would be able to actually run WP8 OS. In fact I suspect that some of the low end WP8  phones that will be launched would be hardware wise exactly as any ourdays WP7 phone.
About WP 7.8, it would be easier for MS to remove certain features from WP8 than to upgrade WP7.5, so I suspect WP7.8 would have most of the WP 8 features. I would bet that the first WP8 custom rom for say Nokia Lumia 900 will appear before the end of the year.

Been running WP 7.8 for 3 weeks now on my HD2 and it's a pretty good upgrade for a 2010 phone that started out with WinMobile 6.5.
In terms of changes - Win 7.8 is not hugely different from 7.5, there a few extra settings / renamed menu items, some updated camera features, extended theme colors (yes you can now choose yellow) , and the new home screen with 3 widget sizes to choose from. Otherwise not hugely different.
WP8 will have a number of newer features built in and of course support for better hardware.
From my experience - I'd get the WP8 flavour and not bother about waiting for WP7.8, there'll be affordable WP8 options released as well.

I presume your running a custom rom that is labelled as 7.8?

If you are then that's not actually windows phone 7.8, it's just 7.5 with the start screen and some re-labelled settings based on what we had seen leaked from 8.0

NO ONE (excluding Microsoft employees) KNOWS WHAT FEATURES WILL BE IN 7.8 at the moment there are only rumours, leaks and speculation

Solution three: buy a Nexus 4, 7, or 10.  No I am not trolling here.  I am a long time windows mobile/phone fan.  I have owned probably 10 such devices over the years.  I even have an app in the marketplace, but I am not porting that app to wp8, nor am I buying a wp8 phone any time soon.  You see I bought into wp7 about 9 months ago with the Lumina 900, and let's face it that train is headed for a blown bridge.  It is clear the Microsoft/Nokia considered the Lumina 900 a stopgap measure.  It was the only thing that allowed them to continue playing in the mobile space.  Had it not been for the Lumina 900 both Microsoft and Nokia would have been shut out of the smartphone market entirely by now. 
Therefore, in my opinion, this device family (wp 7.5) deserves far, far more from Microsof and Nokia than a "we'll get around to it eventually" attitude.  And by the way, why on earth would anyone with half a brain buy a wp 7.8 phone off the shelf?  That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and can only serve to backfire on both Microsoft and Nokia's bottom line.  As per past performance it appears that the marketing and business strategists at these companies are set out to kill yet another promising product line, and by that I mean wp8.  Why you would enter the market with a competing, (presumably) lower cost, but highly inferior product is beyond me.  
Wake up Microsoft and Nokia!  Now that wp8 is a reality, your business model should be very simple: 1) focus on high-end phones along the wp8 line, 2) as fast as humanly possible give some 7.8 love to those of us who allowed to even be in the market at this point, and 3) drop any notions you might have perpetuating the 7.x line is a good idea. 
The moment the balance in the Marketplace tips towards "works on wp8 only", I'm buying a Nexus 4.  
Finally, wp 8 and wp 7.5 are in no way "almost the same".  Get your facts straight.
http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/08/13/leaked-nokia-document-shows-the-differences-between-windows-phone-8-and-wp-7-8/
 
 

I can see why you feel the way that you do, thats understandable. But there are 2 sides to every coin. If the 7.5 devices were truely a stop-gap. then WP7.8 didnt need to exist at all.
The leaked document only goes to prove that microsoft and nokia are trying to maintain the older devices to the best of their ability. There are 12 features in that document which arent on both generations of software, 8 of those are hardware based or severly reliant on the upgraded hardware. Are you expecting Apple to ask all of their customers who have a 4S or earlier to come back into store so that they can replace their old 3G's processer with the new, very impressive A6 chip? Of course not. Do you expect samsung to ask all of their s2 users to pop back into store so that they can sneak an NFC chip into the handset? That's crazy.
Now I don't know enough about how IE10, Wallet, or the improved Boot/Encryption all work, but they are more than likely optimised around the hardware. At which point, it would be cheaper buying the new handset than to pay someone like nokia to "repair the phone" with the "appropriate" hardware for windows 8.
I've had a lumia 800 since May. I'm not expecting it to have all the new features that come from all future updates. It's still doing everything that I bought it for, and its had lots of features added. WP8 looks great, but its purely hardware so far that is any different in my eyes.

Wp78 exists four only one reason: to avoid a a hurricane (apologies to those of you in the north east, my prayers are with you) of public backlash. It is a token gesture, nothing more, I have simply been pointing out that 78 is a dead end. To your question about Apple sending that people be on the latest hardware to take advantage of the latest OS, how often has that happened actually? Twice that I can recall: iOS 5 with Siri, and I iOS 6 but only for hardware older than than and including iPhone 4. IIRC every iOS release has been backward compatible with at least two versions of hardware. Siri is a bad example above because you could install iOS 5 on older hardware, so iOS 6 is the first week example in recent memory where Apple has closed the door on the upgrade path, and that for hardware was two generations old, not one.

Android had an even better track record for backward compatibility. The difference between these companies is that two built their mobile OSes from the beginning to be extendable to accommodate Moore's law. One rushed to market an OS that was built on A platform that was decidedly long in the tooth already. One that they knew they were going to have to outright replace in a probably backward incompatible way. So theY put a product on the market solely for the sake of proving that they did have a mobile strategy. So let's not pretend that 78 is about anything more than preventing an outright class action suit.

We don't even know what 7.8 is bringing to us. Your link includes not much information at all, as most features are not mentioned.
You ask why anyone would buy a 7.8 phone? Simple answer is price. Those phones will be around somewhere between 100-250€, and at that price range still better than most cheap androids. Think about a lumia 510 giving you nokia music and full offline navigation. Those service are even more worth when included in a low cost phone.
You sound angry, let's wait and see until they reveal 7.8 before we blow out steam.
 

I have an Arrive too I feel your pain & I'm on contract until fall 2013. Don't get me wrong I love my Arrive but the New WP8 hardware looks AMAZING!!!

Verizon better push the 7.8 update out to the Trophy as well.  No one using Verizon today is going to burn an upgrade on the WP8 garbage they are trying to push on their customers.  I've had an open upgrade since February of this year and I have no problem waiting a little while longer - even if it means waiting for the Surface Phone.  7.8 until then, please.

I'm in no hurry as I'm waiting to see if MS make its own device despite how badly I want the L920.

Same here since I can't get the lumia bc of it' exclusiveness & HTC didn't excite me enough to quickly jump in to a new phone.

If updates will be rolling out "late" then that means companies like AT&T and Verizon will be rolling out their updates really late. Verizon lagged though the mango update for about two months due to their "testing" so I will be expecting 7.8 next year

Verizon didn't roll it out that late. I was running the developer preview of Mango, but I updated to the release on release day.

Updates are dependant upon the carrier. The carrier has the right to deny an update upon any device they carry. That is why a while back one of European carriers decided not to update their device due to some WiFi issue. As far with Verizon, they have a tendency to lag with approving updates to their devices.

In the article it states the updates is coming from the OEM not the carriers. Plus Microsoft said long time ago that with WP8 & beyond they're bypassing the carriers for their update. I can't say I blame them.

If we have to depend on the carriers to get wp 7.8 you will never see it. By next year their attention will on wp 8.5, android 5, and iOS 7. A carrier is never going to get you wp 7.8, unless you're stupid enough to buy a 2-year contact for a new wp 7.8 device. Why Microsoft/Nokia would even dream of doing that to themselves is beyond me.

The good news is that the article said we would be dependent on the OEM for the update, so Nokia not AT&T (in my case).

This is why i think Dell Venue Pro is the best money investment I've ever made on a phone! Hopefully I'll be one of the early people to receive one.

So, in other terms, Windows Phone 7.8 is Windows Phone 8 but for older devices and gives EXACTLY the same features.
It has no expectation of arrival time at this moment... :/

I have an HTC Titan X310e given by HTC at a great price for this special limited edition and received a week before his commercial arrival in my country (Belgium)

No, WP7.8 shares a few cosmetic features with WP8, but otherwise they are quite different. If you want a WP8 phone you'll have to buy one. The most critical difference is that WP8 is built on a shared kernel with Windows 8, while WP7.8 is still built on windows mobile. That would have to be primary limiting factor for being able to do everything that WP8 can do in WP7.8. It just isn't possible on the windows mobile stack.

http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/08/13/leaked-nokia-document-shows-the-di...

No idea. Ain't they based on different hardware. Unless they mean they both have same bugs and issues lol

Self nominated unofficial mouthpiece. He means its pretty much the same experience. Lets face it most of the real updates within wp8 require new hardware. Gfx chips dual core, NFC, wireless charging, pureview, what are you expecting from 7.8? A new phone. Sure the new Bing would be nice and options to change the email theme, but can you live without them. Yep, well I sure can. 8 months til my new contract and I'm happy to wait until then. 7.8 will be a welcome addition to my already perfectly fine, perfectly brilliant 900 stormtrooper :-)

MANY WP8 features actually do not seem to be that hardware dependent. Just a few quick examples:
Offline Bing Maps, Rooms, Kids Corner, some IE 10 options, accent colors, and some more

TRUE, but there has to be a cut off point somewhere. MS will want everyone on wp8 as their next device to get people onto the new kernal and using the new services. Giving too much away free to an old system is a step backwards espec when that system is reaching its end. Id rather they concentrated their efforts on 8.5 or whatever to get ahead of the competition, and after all that's what the majority of us will be using within the year, no?

Agreed.  I'm not saying Microsoft should have perpetuated the windows mobile internals in WP8.  That clearly didn't work for what they wanted to accomplish, and I'm okay with that.  I am saying that relegating existing WP7.5 owners to the back burner in favor of workling on diluting their offering even further by allowing more 7.8 handsets in the market.  At a bare minimum the should have had 7.8 ready to go alongside the w8 announcement, of not sooner.  I hope that as others have suggested that any meaningful delay is just misinformation, and we get to our wp 7.8 consolation prize much sooner than it sounded like.  

You could look at 7.8 as a tangible advert. If its good my next phone is almost certainly going to be a WP8 device. Surprised they haven't jumped at this potential to give wp8 a head start with users who are looking to upgrade now

If new low-end phones are to come with 7.8 preloaded, the ROMs will get leaked or show up on Navifirm. Nokia users who don't mind losing savegames will be able to flash their phones without waiting for the update distribution.

Largely the same really does not seem to be in line with what we have heard. I want to know if all the new games will cut out the windows 7 crowd...

Yep more than likely, I presume there's still a good wave of WP7 titles to come, but that's progression. Can you play 360 games on the original Xbox?

I don't know with support for multi cores in WP8, I can see a lot of game developers jumping exclusively to that platform to take advantage of true multitasking not to mention more powerful hardware generally. I wouldn't count on there being more than a trickle of WP7.8 games (or apps) once WP8 starts gaining momentum.

I'm cool waiting for WP7.8, but I would like to know if app support will come to WP7.5 when those same apps are released for WP8. I know not all apps will work with my Trophy, but Words and a few others don't need the dual core graphics push.

That's just the problem. WP8 apps won't run on WP7.8 hardware. WP7.8 apps will (may) run on WP8, but my guess is that developers will abandon WP7.8 en masse to write for WP8 only. So this is the first example of fragmentation in the Windows Phone market and once people figure out how much of a dead end WP7.8 is, they are going to be extremely pissed off.

Am I missing something I have never received ota updates for my HTC titan here in the UK I always get my updates through Zune on my pc so why the concern with ota updates.

OTA from carriers seems to have a much slower roll out, Zune normally gets you there quicker. My 900 is unlocked & unbranded so hopefully will be at the head of the queue.

I had actually thought I'd be dying to get a new lumia asap, but seeing how the upgrade to Win8 Final turned my x201t into a multimedia machine (yeah, stuff like Xbox music (pass) excite us Germans ;) and I have it my phone too! Seriously, add Netflix and you'd have Christmas.), I'll be able to wait a while. The only thing missing from my zippy "new" Convertible is an audible-app. But buying a new phone just for that? I'd rather save up for a ThinkPad tablet 2 or Surface Pro, whichever is first. Sales strategy possibly fell flat in my case - well, we'll see :)

Update till next year, no gracias. I'll have an upgrade by then to get a win8 device. Yes I'll troll and say I will forgive MS and Nokia for making the lumia 900 a legacy device in 4 months (10 months for them) and ill try only more time. The carriers shouldn't take too long to release...please =[

WP8 and 7.8 are largely the same??? And you just put that as granted without details? WTF :O Please detail that statement!!! You cant put this topic that lapidary! Srsly, WTF! 
But it looks like a huge pain in the arse. If its completely up to the providers to roll out 7.8 - some of my friends with their Mozarts and Omnias gonna have a bad time i guess. :(

Yeah, that statement about the two being the same was very poorly worded. It's funny. You gotta figure that a majority of current WP customers aren't eligible for an upgrade. That loyal customer base still hasn't been told when and what they will get with 7.8. Pretty disappointing.

Yes but your looking at the differences! Stand back imagine both systems are made by different companies. You'd struggle to find the differences without them being pointed out. Its hardly a complete overhaul like mobile 6.5 to phone 7 is it?

Okay, but we're not looking at two separate companies here.  We're looking at one: Microsoft.  As I have said elsewhere, I am okay with them making a breaking change.  I think it's the right thing to do technically.  I just think that they should put as much emphasis on tiding over those of us who won't (or can't) upgrade to wp8 just because it has been released.  That is a very AppleCult way of thinking.  I was amazed at how many people have been outraged that Apple released a product upgrade 7 months after the last one and therefore they "had to upgrade".  This is sort of the same thing, but in Apple's case the OS is backward compatible.   
 
Some of those differences are going to be very obvious when you start to see NFC, Wallet, IE10 in action.  Also, real multi-tasking is going to be a primary driver for application development going forward, and therefore you're going to see a lot of "only for wp8" apps in the Marketplace.  That makes this a complete overhaul from windows mobile 6.5 to wp7x.  

I've already made peace that 7.8 was a after thought when they started 8. I already expect to get an update next year but the HTC 8X make the wait harder and harder. That phone is hella sexy. 

Nice to see that the same "well there's a new version so I gotta upgrade" that afflicts the iOS community so badly is alive and well here too.

I really hope more information will be available at BUILD. So I (and all the other developers) can make applications for wp7.8 And wp8 :) (you know: we developers will never let the wp7 people down! )

All I want is the new home screen on my Lumia 900.  I don't really care for any of the other things.  Why can't they just give us that?!?!?!?   Like RIGHT NOW!!!

Because not everybody has a L900, for those who have no L900 devices we prefer to wait for more interesting features on wp7.8 so take their time to do something really great with this update!

Exactly! Since they put our WP7x phones on death row already, why not release the upgrade alongside WP8 ? Althought I knew my Omnia W wouldn't be compatible with WP8 I didn't expect such treatment from MS... Aren't we the ones keeping their phone business alive or what??

Exactly! Since they put our WP7x phones on death row already, why not release the upgrade alongside WP8 ? Althought I knew my Omnia W wouldn't be compatible with WP8 I didn't expect such treatment from MS... Aren't we the ones keeping their phone business alive or what??

I'll probably be on a Gen 2 Win 8 device by the time AT&T gets 7.8 t my L900.
I thought MSoft was going to prevent thsi sort of nonsense by pushing the 7.8 Update out themselves.
Makes me sad :-(

Just wish MS would release a newer build than the current one on XDA, So it would hold me out till the final.... The one on XDA is kind of buggy (shrink a large tile and you can't make it large again)

I won't be holding my breath. My wife's original Focus has yet to recieve anything beyond the original Mango update. I really hope Microsoft pushes this out themselves this time !

I am guessing once everything is on the shelf WP8 wise and once Thanksgiving or the holidays is over with that's when they'll push out the update.  This is a business strategy.  They want everyone to buy WP8 first and then give the rest of their previous customers what they want.  There are a lot of 1st gen WP7'ers out there who are now ready to upgrade.  If you give them 7.8 too early, they will "probably" be satisfied with it without ever upgrading to the next device.  -IMO, I probably wouldn't upgrade either if I had a 1st gen device who had just updated to 7.8.  I typically tend to wait for 2nd gen anything if it's technology wise...which I did when I was on WM 6.0-6.5 for 3 years.   And think about this for a second.  People who visit this site tend to be geared toward the technical side anyway.  I know quite a bit of people with 1st+2nd gen phones that didn't even know 7.8 existed until I mentioned it to them.  So with that said, there is "really" only a handful of people that desperately feel that Microsoft deserves to give us something because they abandoned us once again.  Now, as a tech enthusiast, don't get me wrong, I feel the same way. I need the rest of my 7.8 (already have build 8835) on my Titan to feel that I haven't been abandoned by Microsoft for the second time. 

According to http://www.itviikko.fi/uutiset/2012/11/06/lumia-paivitys-tulee-suomeen-ensimmaisten-joukossa/201241426/7 (in finnish) the updates will go thru manufacturer and operator testing before being released. This naturally means the process will be shorter for those of you who have unlocked phones. It is also said that the release of the 7.8 update has nothing to do with the wp8 schedule. I find this hard to believe, but that's what Vesa-Matti Paananen (in charge of Windows Phone in Finland) said.
"-Everyone won't get the update simultaneously. We do have the capacity to disrtibute it (to everyone), but we will release it in phases. First we listen to the feedback, even though the software has been tested", Paananen explains.