Windows Phone 7.8, nice touch or not enough?

Windows Phone 7.8 Update

Now that the dust has settled on the Windows Phone Summit and we have a feel for Windows Phone 8 and a definitive answer as to the future of existing Windows Phones, how are you feeling?

There was always an air of uncertainty that existing Windows Phones would be eligible for update to Windows Phone 8. Still we had hoped that these phones would be updateable but with limitations.

While our Nokia Lumias and HTC Titans won't be able to run Windows Phone 8, they will see a Windows Phone 7.8 update. Some may see Windows Phone 7.8 as window dressing by giving Windows Phone 7 the appearance of running the Windows Phone 8. Some may not care for NFC or Windows 8 platform additions but will enjoy the more customizable Start Screen.

But is the Windows Phone 7.8 update a nice touch or not enough?  A bitter pill of sorts.

While some may see today's news as a bitter pill, there is some solace in knowing that Nokia is continuing its support of the Lumia line by releasing new apps and updating current apps. While our existing phones may not be able to make the jump to Windows Phone 8, it's nice to see they aren't being left completely behind. The 7.8 update may not be what everyone wanted to hear but it will add to an already nice Windows Phone system.

So what say you?  Does Windows Phone 7.8 do the trick until you can upgrade to a new Windows Phone or is Microsoft leaving existing devices out in the cold?



Reader comments

Windows Phone 7.8, nice touch or not enough?



Relax, unless you have an LG  Windows Phone you will almost sure recieve WP7.8 oficially or  unoficially, but you'll have it ;)

My DVP has treated me great. But did I really expect it to deliver HD graphics and full Skype integration just because of an OS upgrade? No. If Nokia can make something as sexy as the DVP with dual core at least, a killer camera and a larger screen running Windows Phone 8, then they have my money.
DVP I love ya, but time to move on.

My DVP has kept me happy for nearly a year. Still a sexy ass phone. I'll happily update to 7.8, then buy Nokia's first large screened WP8.

your compass doesn't work and you have a crippled WiFi chip.  how can that be awesome?
All you DVP owners need to petition Dell to give you a device that isn't borked.  At least give you a bug free device before the updates stop.

I don't know why you need a compass and my WiFi has been awesome for me. (I typically use 200MB or less data each month, thanks to it.)

Anyway, with Dell's lack of continued interest in mobile, I worry about if and when they'd push the update through.

Just an FYI... You knew the risk when you upgraded. Same goes for anyone who buys a phone. You know it won't be the latest and greatest after a year, especially iPhones. Androids are new every 3 months. These are superficial complaints by anyone who got a Lumia. NfC is great, but won't be used in alot of places yet.

Only difference is that all new apps are likely going to be developed on the NT kernal, and therefore, non usable by us.

developers aren't stupid. High end games will be wp8 only, but apps that don't require anything wp8 specific will be developed for the largest audience. What percentage of android apps run on ICS only? The audience right now may not be iPhone or android size, but it is still many millions. I bet that apps that are wp8+ only won't outnumber wp7.8 apps until late 2013 or 2014.

This guy knows. I wouldn't recommend buying a wp7 in August, but anyone currently locked in a contract should be fine for the next couple years

Windows phone 8 will have 0 percent marketshare till fall. Even with the best success, the ratio of wp7.8 and wp8 devices will be comparable about a year later. A year and half later, wp8 devices will be significantly more than wp7.8. Then developers will start to abandon the wp7.8 devices. That's time for you to upgrade.

It is possible to multi-target apps. Meaning a single codebase that supports WP7.5, WP8 and WinRT (Windows 8.)
Compile once, get three XAPs. The WP7.5 version may lack some features not supported in the .Net Compact Framework and WP7.5 SDK, but it can use largely the same XAML so it will look exactly the same on WP7.5 and WP8.

I don't see why they didn't just do an Apple and give older devices "Windows Phone 8" while in reality half the features are missing. Shuts the blogs & trolls up and hasn't harmed Apple.

Yes I know kernel, yada yada, but on the apps that aren't compatible put it down to "Your phone does not have enough _____" instead of this half arsed 7.8 

Well, this is Windows Phone 8 with "half the features" missing. All they did was rename it to Windows Phone 7.8 because it's not a complete Windows Phone 8. Hence they put .8 to the 7. To still represent WP8.

This is Windows phone 7.8 with all the missing back end and with soon to be stunted application support.  
Leave it to Microsoft to have a slow beach ball pitched to them and they swing and miss.  

So you would feel better if MS just called the 7.8 update 8.0, while keeping everything about 7.8 except the number exactly the same? Doesn't that seem like a silly position to take?

I think he means from a marketing position. When Apple released iOS 5, it wasn't called publicly called iOS 4.5 on iPhone 4 because of the lack of Siri. It was called iOS 5 across all the models, regardless if features were missing. 

Yeah, I've got a friend with his iPhone sees 4G in the top corner and says "look, just last week I got upgraded to 4G for free!"  No matter how many times I explain that he doesn't have a 4G radio in his phone, he doesn't care.  "AT&T wouldn't lie."

I think the honesty is a nice factor. They don't want to limit the new hardware by old tech, but they want to give the older phones a better experience. I always hear people complaining about their phones not being able to use the newest update features. We at least know what's coming. That being said, I would love to upgrade my Lumia 800 when WP8 comes out...

Apple has learned the art of marketing lies.  I doubt iOS 6 is even the same iOS 6 on all devices at it's core.
so should MS had done the marketing thing and lied (and get called out on it by an investigative and hostile press) or call it something a little more honest?

Marketing is lying, never try to separate the two.  It is called marketing when it works on someone, and lying when it doesn't

It's not. Their turn by turn navigation will only work on 4s devices. Other features will be missing as well but not upgrading all users with a better navigation? I had a white iphone 4 up until I traded it for a nokia lumia 900 via craigslist. I have an upcoming phone upgrade in Sept. but for now i'm happy with my lumia. It appears that these upgrade issues happen with all platforms so....

Have you used an iPhone 4GS with the latest updates available? Its horrible. Even the original 4 lags. The original iPad is dog slow now and even my iPad2 has seen some dramatic performace decrease with subsequent "upgrades".
The jump from WP7 to 8 is pretty significant with new hardware requirements. I wish my Nokia could have it, but not at the cost of usability. MS, thank you for not "doing an Apple"!

BULL Sh T  I've seen original iPad with and without iOS5 side by side and there is no discernable difference.  quit spreading FUD to make yourself feel better about this shi tty 7.8 upgrade.

Yes you are. This will be applied to all 1st and 2nd gen devices. If the lumia 610 is being updated, you can bet that more sophisticated 1st gen phones, known at the time for being very similar in hardware, given the strict requirements by MS, are getting the update.
The question on my mind everyone seems to have forgotten is, isn't tango supposed to be out today for some Wp's like the LG Optimus 7?
And why did Tango specific information was deleted from some windows phone websites?

According to wmpoweruser Nokia phones will be getting wp7.8 in the coming weeks. Via nokiaus twitter page

I'm happy with that. Most people will want the new hardware that comes with wp8 anyway, so this will at least tie people over and give them a taste of what the new Gen stuff has to offer

After thinking about this. I'll probably won't be mad until WP8 apps start doing something my Lumia can't.

True that.  I'm more concerned about not being able to run new apps than about missing WP8 features.   I hope Nokia helps port popular non-compatible apps to Windows Phone 7.8.  But I'm really happy we are getting the new start screen.  It will make my NL900 more user friendly.

I'd rather have a cut down update than nothing.

Microsoft could have just decided to give us nothing and just put all efforts into 8.

I'm surprised at 7.8 I honestly thought we would get nothing

I just hope 8 is faster in terms of push notifications and live tile refreshing as at the moment it is fairly poor at times.

Damn! Was hoping to see this cheap update on my old ass Samsung focus! Still rockin it with mms working unlimited talk and text for just $45 a month on straight talk. Lmao! Would've been nice to see this update. On 1 Gen focus.:-(

They said "every existing Windows Phone". Much as some of us would like to deny it, the first generation devices do indeed exist.

I know alot of replies are saying they are ok with it. But let's see if that changes when WP8 comes out with features they havent announced yet and the current phones wont get. I'm sure the 900 and 2nd Titan are fine phones but who here doesnt think MS knew they wouldnt be getting the full Win 8 treatment? They needed to sell phones and couldnt wait for the fall. Only Apple could pull that off. Everyone here who bought these phones should be upset. Partly because their new phone wont be getting Windows 8 but that MS and their partners knew it wouldnt and stayed quiet.
I know this is a pro WindowsPhone site, but I wish the guys here would write about it.
Me and my Gen 1 HTC WP will be waiting for proper Windows 8 phones.

I've been eligible for an upgrade for a while now, but bought a brand new quantum for 85 bucks to hold out until the new hardware comes out (my old one was in rough shape). Still love the phone too, hope there's a new slider coming to WP8. You just have to suffer watching your friends get new phones and brag about their lumia, until I get my new WP8 in a few months....and my Surface Pro too. :-)

Similar to what Ive done. Sent the old Focus through the washing machine. Worked fine except for the camera but I missed the camera so I just bought another Focus off Craigslist instead of upgrading as I knew Wp8 would be here by years end.

be quiet crybaby has look at iPhone 4 users who did not get iPhone 4s features and had to either buy new iPhone 4s to get the upgrades. But Microsoft did it in a good way not leaving off 1st Gen phones which will get new 7.8 upgrade with wp8 new looks. So .all stop complaining has it better than nothing...

Absolutely no regrets picking up my L900 on pre-Launch Day. And WP7.8 is exactly what I expected. Did you really believe magical hardware improvements to occur when you updated your phone. I do know that my "new" Start screen will still be buttery smooth after the update.
I will take a look at the offerings in October/November, but will have no problem holding off till the second wave of WP8s which should hit the streets in Feb/March 2013. That will give NFC more time to get the kinks worked out.

I wouldnt think that 1st gen devices will get update for the simple fact that those phones are old and they should be eligible for an upgrade anyway. 
Titan, Focus S, Focus II, Titan 2, Lumias i would think will get them since they all recently were released. 

You know what would make this a bit more acceptable?  Giving us the update NOW - so we can enjoy it months in front of the launch of WinPhone8.  That would have given a nod to existing users as a thank you for getting it early and made the pain of knowing you'll have to dump your phone and upgrade a little less hurtful.
THAT would have been good PR.  As it is - if it's released at the same time or worse, AFTER the new phones... that will royally suck.

Why would you dump your phone if you still like it? That means since you were gonna dump it, you wouldn't want the update after all.

As a sales rep for T-Mobile, that sounds like a mess that would simply confuse people. Keep in mind that many (if not most) Windows Phone buyers are new to smart phones.

I agree. Some of us want to sell put old devices to get new WP8 devices and if we don't get the update till afterwards that is hard to do when people have newer phones to choose from and drips the resale value to new shitty lows because everyone knows by then they are stuck to WP 7.8

Pretty sure we haven't seen the entire details of either WP8 or WP7.8 so I can't really answer yet.  I can all but guarantee its not 'just' the start screen.

Double-agree.   Think there's an awful lot of worst-case speculation going on here.
Over on the "conversations.nokia.com" area, there is a contributor named Heidi, and she keeps responding to certain sky-is-falling posts with this (just one example)


And you wont be able to run WP8 Apps, at least as long as they aren't coded right...

Heidi Lemmetyinen, Editor-in-Chief, Nokia Conversations @HLemmetyinen

Not true. You'll be able to run apps across all iterations, as long as they're not HW dependent

I'm a hardware verification guy, so I don't know TOO much about the s/w f/w side of things.   But I DO KNOW that APIs can definitely act as a common bridge between software and the underlying hardware (e.g. one s/w build that works on custom or off-the-shelf ASICs - this was our M.O.).   So, is there someone here who can explain technically why, say WP 7.8 couldn't contain the WP 8 API (or a subset of it that omits missing hardware, like NFC, etc.), and thus allow all apps to run on 7.8 as long as there wasn't a dependence on underlying HW?

Different kernel, different apis. If they don't update the kernel, the api from WP8 wouldn't work. Chances are the hardware requirements have gone up for NT (naturally, it's what the Windows 8 uses), so it can't be updated without performance compromise.
If you want an example, think why each programming C++ api isn't compatible with Java

Im just glad that my Dell Venue Pro will get the same look and feel as windows 8. Hell if I see any similar wp8 devices I'll jump right in.

No it won't!!! I doubt it will get it.

Btw, I'm not 100% sure. But dell is done with smartphones and they probably don't want to support it.

During today's announcement, they made a fairly big deal out of the plan to make all future WP updates over the air, with no carrier or OEM involvement. It's my impression that Dell doesn't have to do anything on their end to push the update or support it.

Do they really not need carrier testing? I was under the impression that you just wouldn't need to use the Zune client anymore to update.

even if it wont get that update, i'm still gonna enjoy using it like i did when i first bought it!

No. MS said that 7.8 would bypass carriers. However, WP8 updates would be subject to carrier testing. But, it won't be carriers pushing it out. Once they're done testing, MS will push it out OTA.

As a lumia 900 owner, I'm excited for what we'll be getting in the next 4-6 weeks. Updated apps and the new start screen, plus who knows what else. In addition, we'll be getting it at least 2 months before the first wp8 comes out.

How do we know that's all Windows Phone 7.8 will entail?  Remember, this was just conference focused on developers.  Belfiore (sp) said it himself that they are not revealing many of the user-end changes coming with Windows Phone 8 (or 7.8).  I do hope that my 1st gen focus will get this.  If not, I don't care because I am waiting for a WINDOWS SURFACE PHONE!!!!  Or possibly just settle for a dual-core Nokia.

If I understood correctly, 7.8 will be the pieces of wp 8 that don't require new hardware. I'd be surprised if it didn't include more than just the UI change. With that said, I can see why people who recently purchased a device would be miffed, but this change needs to happen so WP won't fall behind. I do switch phones often, but I knew my radar wouldn't be upgradeable fully to wp 8 when I purchased it and others should have as well.

I agree. I have been telling my friends who want to get windows phones to wait. With the better hardware for WP8 it is not surprising in the least that there are going to be features the current phones can't support.

Everyone needs to chillax.
Microsoft themselves have said that only apps compiled specifically for WP8 will not work on WP7.x. There is no cause for alarm. I'm pretty sure that, similarly to the different hardware and OS version consideration for other platforms, developers will still target WP7.x until there is a SIGNIFICANT drop off in devices running that build of WP.
Our phones are fine. They will still be the same phones we've been playing on and connecting with. And when 7.8 comes around, they'll get that facelift and something on the side. And that's how it should be. It's honest to say that you cant upgrade because your device does not support the hardware requirements.
We're all going to upgrade anyway so shut up. :-p

Not sure how anyone is being "left in the cold" honestly.
When I bought my HD7, the box didnt say "free upgrades for life!" or "the last phone you'll ever buy!". It said Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Operating System. I was glad to get NoDo and even more glad to get Mango for nothing. My phone will keep working regardless of it's OS number.
And your uncle got left in the cold buddy. Does his 3310 run the last version of Symbian or Meego?

Remember the smartphone beta test ad? Remember Ben making fun of Android for the exact same reason, no updates after months.
I'm surprises by the amount of fanboys here.

Im still using my focus till the iPhone 5 comes out lmfao!! So thats why I want the 7.8 update on my first Gen focus maybe I'll get the wp8

I knew full well when I purchased my L900 that I wouldn't get all that WP8 would offer. There is no "reasonable" person who could think so. I knew if I wanted all the WP8 goodness, I would have to buck up and buy one off contract when the time comes. I have been on board since day 1 with my old focus and the 900. Tech evolves, OS evolve, it the nature of tech. So, rather than complaining, I feel we should be happy with what we have been given. You want WP8, you should have either held off an upgrade, or know you will have to buy of contract. The only people I would feel any sympathy for might be the people who just got board with this OS. However, a little homework would lead one to believe to wait for WP8 if it was going to be an issue. I'll take my 7.8 over any other phone and OS out there. I am just happy I don't have to have an Android or IOs as my only good options.

As long as it has Skype integration, which it does, and the same home screen, I'm more than happy. When I had my Bold 9900 I never once used NFC. By the time it gets popular, I'll most likely have am upgraded phone version by then. No big deal, very happy to hear about the new face lift ;)

Its awesome! Negative comments be damned, at least there is a COMPARABLE update as much as the hardware will allow. It already seems that a lot of the other Apollo features are hardware related anyways, as much as the software will need to function correctly...great news if you ask me, first and second Gen are not dead ends, but I would at least get Gen 2 for 4G/LTE availability

I just want 7.8 update on my 1st Gen focus lmao! I love my first Gen focus! Fully unlocked! As bad as I wanted a lumia 900 glad I didn't get it!

How do we know that's all Windows Phone 7.8 will entail?  Remember, this was a conference geared towards developers.  Belfiore (sp) said it himself that they are not revealing many of the user-end changes coming with Windows Phone 8 (or 7.8).  I do hope that my 1st gen focus will get this.  If not, I don't care because I am waiting for a MICROSOFT SURFACE PHONE!!!!  Or possibly just settle for a dual-core Nokia.

I just hate multinational corporations. I just saved to buy a Lumia and it's already been left in the cold.

I expect hardware changes and os changes that my current phone could not handle. This is not new in software, or hardware. I love my phone for what it is now, not what it could be later.

did people complain when the iPhone 4s come out and siri wasn't available for the iPhone 4?

Yeah!! I had an iPhone 4 too and I used to be on modmyi forum and sinful iPhone but I always loved the wp7 UI! I had jailbroken my iPhone 4 and was running a theme through dreamboard called os7 and looked pretty sick on my iPhone 4 but still it wasn't the same so I winded up selling it! And only thing I miss from my iPhone 4 was some of the games and how good my solo HD beats sounded with it versus my Samsung focus.

I love my Lumia 900 even if it's not upgraded to a full 8. I'm sure there is more to it then just the new start and tile setup. I'm gonna keep on trucking till my next upgrade. Always something better.

Well, I think MS is being smart about giving us the update because all the new features will need new hardware, having old hardware would screw things up, what would be a very nice thank- you from the team is to release the 7.8 update to all early adopters early, like a month or two before WP 8 comes out. Just to ease our pain, I mean, the start screen is what WE asked for with our e-mails to Microsoft and such, the best MS can give us is a free gift since ironically, we were the beta testers O.o I mean, people asking for a new device ? Come on! We don't want to bankrupt Microsoft!

I got my HD7 in December, 2010 so I'm fine with taking the 7.8 update until I can upgrade in time for Xmas. :)  And after I upgrade the HD7 with 7.8 will be a nice upgrade for my 11yr old son's feature phone.

All existing Windows Phones are getting Nokia Drive app.

That is a Samsung Focus and HTC Titan with turn-by-turn navigation.
Lumia phones are getting a ton of new Nokia apps including massive improvement to the camera app plus the Zynga apps will be exclusive for two months...
Current Lumia 710, 800 and 900 owners will be receiving updates that include Wi-Fi tethering, flip-to-silence and more.

The idea of having an update on current gen is nice, but that start screen is just a fugly mess. What happened to the clean and organized start screen?

What you talking about mess? Don't you know you can customize the tile to change size. Microsoft did awesome job on new look.

You can keep it as unfuguly as you like. The tiles will all just be a tad bigger now that there is no sidebar.

I'm actually already quite content with what my Lumia 800 has to offer me right now, so any update is appreciated.

I'm just scared of the marketplace and development scene for WP7 completely stagnating with the launch of WP8...

It's been so exciting to see this small community gaining some momentum in recent times and I'd hate to see it going away in just a couple of months.

Hey this is a whole lot better than I got at an NDA event 18 days ago. MS are describing WP8 as an iOS 3 event: building for the future with the unfortunate effect that the old hardware doesn't get the suppport. MasterMeatWad  points at Siri, but Apple also refused to upgrade all pre iOS3 devices. As already said, who expects their phone will be the latest and greatest for its whole (2 year) life? WP7.8 is  good bridge until I can refresh with a WP8 device.

Nice screen and processor would be nice, but my phone looks awesome already. Don't envision myself using NFC ever.
Like ryan_linz said, we don't have enough information about what 7.8 will completely cover. I have an upgrade in June of next year and by then a really badass phone will be out.

all those crybaby nokia users grow up. What you complaining you are all getting 7.8 update which will feature new wp8 start screen and other benefits.

Just because it will not get all wp8 benefits due to the hardware. Don't you remember the junk iPhone also can't be upgraded with the other features of iPhone 4s they had to either buy a new iPhone 4 to get the other features. So stop complaining it same for iPhone users who didn't like they had to get a new iPhone to get the other benefits.

The windows phone 8 summit was a total success. Can't wait get the free 7.8 upgrade or maybe get a new wp8 phone

I just bought an iPad 2 and now there is the iPad "new" with Siri functionality. I should get the update to Siri right?

Did the Nexus get Ice cream Sunday when it got released?

My point echoes the same as the other realists commenting. We all knew what we were doing, now shut up and save. The silent majority loves what's coming down the road. Hopefully the OS and the services will keep being pushed hard to stay ahead of the pack going forward.

Great work MSFT! keep it up

MS should have single core WP8 builds for 2nd gen WPs.  Especially their flag ship, the Lumia 900.  I google can update their Nexus phones, MS can do the same.
In all of this, will the pre-paids and WPs marketed for lowcost be dual core too?

You don't understand.  This is not a hardware issue.  It's about the kernal.  Since WP8 uses the NT kernal OEMS would have had to rewrite all the drivers for current handsets in order for them to work. 

I keep seeing alot of people saying how disappointed they are, I don't think that they realise the reason why it is a whole new hardware platform......windows phone 8 devices are going to be so powerful. Dx support for starters that's EPIC.

Here's the thing we don't know everything included in the update. Given the fact that we're even getting a big update is fair to me. But will we get the new IE10 browser experience and so on? The customization of the live tiles is news enough for me along with continued support in the app market and that will hold me over until I get an actual WP8 phone. Plus I just bought Final Fantasy so that will help me while I wait.:D

Why in the last few months has MS been pushing the lumia 900 as the next big thing, when they know the majority of users will have to tie themselves to a 2 year contract?
they have been advertising the lumia by saying the beta test is over which is laughable as they are basically saying WP7/7.5 is the beta test and WP8 is the ultimate.
and to people saying lumia owner should not moan etc, we have a right to complain if we feel we have been misled, as MS have been mentioning Apollo in the terms of "upgrade" since prior to Mango, yet Apollo cannot be called an upgrade as it's a fresh start from a hardware viewpoint.
how many titles on WP7.8 will support the havok game engine; NONE, what dev's would commit to creating titles for both WP8 and WP7.8 when the WP8 ver can be ported to Win 8 with minimum fuss (not that many, and certainly not many high profile devs, as MS will be wanting them to push their AAA title out to help push WP8 sales).
anyway I can see Microsofts marketshare will not grow much more and sales of Lumias will slow. no wonder Nokia are giving free monster headsets out for the month of may and june (they want to shift the backstock of lumias before more people get word of WP8)

Nokia Lumia, basic things like divert on busy etc, no call barring options, no tethering, to name a few. But they,ll get there slowly

7.8 is lipstick on a pig. They are trying to do what apple does force people to upgrade by stopping support on hardware concerns ground.

I'm happy with the update news. I really do hope that the update is more than a start screen. For one, if they can get combine the maps and Nokia maps apps, that would be great. Also, they should upgrade the browser or let 3rd party browsers in.

Mr. Balmer, I was of the opinion that Mr. Jobs was the biggest blood sucking ass in the I. T. field but now I find out my brand new Lumia 900 won't be able to be upgraded to WP 8.
Thank You you bald headed Fuck!

Oh that is precious.  Most of us only locked ourselves up for two years. Prison is free room and board but I am sure you wouldn't enjoy prison would ya?

I've become quite accustomed to and happy with the current start screen, it would be nice to get all the other addition features of 7.8 without having to move over to a new start screen.

I have a Samsung Focus S and would probably be satisfied so long as they included IE10 in WP 7.8.  But I'm guessing that's dependent on all the new shared core stuff.   Anyway, I'll probably still get a new WP 8 phone at some point. Fortunately I was able to expense the $200 I paid for the phone in the first place!

It's all about apps, actually. In terms of new features even wp7.5 looks perfectly fine, the new start screen is just a nice touch. But the apps from WP8 will not work on WP7.8, and if the majority of the softmakers will decide to produce WP8-only software, it will clearly kill the 7.8 devices completely. And the marketing I've seen today leads to this situation. MS said, that WP7 software will work on WP8, but have not described it as "you should write for WP7, it will work on WP8 anyway", it was more like "WP8 has a huge software base already, write more for it". And if MS will stop to accept WP7 apps to the marketplace, or will stop releasing development tools for WP7, it will be a disaster, and it seems possible.

Only apps that access hardware specific to wp8 (NFC, etc...) or that use native code will not work on wp7.x devices. A huge majority of apps will work perfectly fine on wp7.x devices whether they were "written for wp8" or not

It really is bittersweet. On one hand Microsoft delivered continuous support to their current users by offering some added features, but on the other hand they just released their flagship Windows Phone which won't be getting the update, which to me is the most ridiculous thing they could do. It just doesn't make sense to release such a high profile phone then call it old indirectly by not giving it the full WP8 treatment. It, imo, is a bait and switch sorta deal; they baited early Lumia 900 adopters with prospects of continuous support with a late release and impending update, but didn't disclose it until well after the 30 day return period from launch. Obviously the ones that are hurt the most are the Lumia 900 adopters because now they can't get a WP8 because of contract issues and are going to have to wait, and when that time comes WP9 is probably in the pipelines and will happen all over again; again, imo, really messed up of Microsoft to do.
The other thing that really is annoying is their strict hardware requirements for WP 7.x. Wasn't the point to prevent update fragmentation that Android is suffering now? To ease the development of apps because all devices will be on the same playing field regardless of brand or carrier? Because of this, WP8 introduces fragmentation, developers will either target both WP 7 and 8 using limited toolsets or focus on WP8 and reap the benefits of an expanded toolset.
Third, I can't understand why Microsoft couldn't just give us WP8 and let the features that require NFC and the other stuff just not work like what they do with Tango; when you get an app there's a warning saying this and this won't work because of lack of said hardware. Is it that hard to include drivers for older hardware that was made mandatory by Microsoft in the first place (brings me back to the previous argument) in the new kernel? I can't imagine it does since this is still basically ARM instructions (I'm not expert on this but I'd imagine a few more dollars here and there and a little bit more time could have pushed it this way and made every friggin person happy instead of pissing off 90% of WP7 users).
The last thing that irritates me is being a current and new WP7 user, I can't tell people to get a WP because they need to hold off for the next update which will bring in new hardware. Actually, trying to be neutral and for the benefit of the user, right now I have to recommend getting an iPhone because the next update will be supported on their phone, and probably the next 2 updates after that as well. I can't recommend a WP to anyone anymore, and it makes me look like a hypocrite for getting a WP. I honestly cannot justify why I have a WP solidly now; thank you Microsoft.
That said, I believe Microsoft did something decent here at the very least; decent being the key word. 7.8 will bring in some of that experience of WP8 at least, and hopefully a bit more like IE10, Wallet (sans NFC support), Nokia Maps replacing Maps (I could use native background turn by turn directions). Also, by being a Lumia 900 user, I get some of those new features at least because I have access to Nokia Drive, Playto, etc (I guess those were some perks for Nokia, but I think some of Nokia's shares just dropped seeing as the common man's forecast of their Lumia line selling at this point is coming to a halt). I really hope to hear more about 7.8 to see what else it has to bring besides the new Start screen. I think there's more too it, and Microsoft ain't going to leave current users hanging, but the biggest peeve I have right now is I can't really defend my Windows Phone aside from the argument that "my phone even though it isn't receiving the lastest update, still has a higher user satisfaction than yours." :P

Windows Phone 8 has been imminent for some time and if you're posting on this forum you were probably clued up on this so, you have no excuse for not having the latest product. Besides, this is the telecommunications industry, one of the fastest moving sectors of the consumer tech industry, you're only going to have the newest hardware for a brief moment anyway. Enjoy what you have if you choose to purchase it!
Microsoft specifically didn't reveal whether or not current gen devices would be getting the overhaul so, to purchase a Lumia now was a gamble on your behalf!
On one hand, I know Microsoft leave some things out of 7.8 to add worth to 8 (this is just good business, sure Microsoft love us but they're also wanting to make a little £££) however, look at the iPhone. Apple offer previous generation devices full upgrades and that does not work! iOS 5 on a 3gs was horrific but, to get any of the new futures consumers were forced to obtain the entirity of the update. Is it not a great thing that we'll have the oppurtunity to taste the new software whilst not risking destroying the fluidity of our current devices? That's rhetorical by the way.
Sure there are things some will miss and I appreciate some dissapointment but it's great that we'll be able to experience the OS at all. that's more than many of us were expecting after all of the "no comment"s we're received leading up to this.
This is business. It makes sense from a financial stand point. It also makes sense from a technical view as my 610 surely couldn't hande 8 and my 800 may have struggled also.

Idk y everyone is mad im excited and just look at the shitty specs of the lumia it barely beat out the 1st Gen which is y I waited til at least dual cores but I love how my focus runs nearly 2 yrs and not one problem I think it froze like twice I've dropped it in water concrete and all but I will be a great mp3 when I get a wp8 Nokia and surface as well as all 3 gens of zunes

The fact is the move to the NT kernel was necessary for the platform to grow and if they could have made the update work, they would have. They could have left existing users with nothing but they made the extra effort to give us as much of the new experience as they could and that's pretty nice of them. Thankfully, we shouldn't have this problem in the future now that the desktop and mobile platforms are aligned.

I really don't get what all the bruhaha about the 7.8 update is in terms of whether or not the OG Focus or the DVP or the Quantum is. In my mind and having re-read the WPCentral article about the 7.8 update I think its pretty clear. ALL existing handsets running Mango will receive the update. Given that every handset released to date is capable of running Mango it stands to reason therefore that EVERY SINGLE HANDSET RELEASED TO DATE will get the 7.8 update. Why wouldn't it? Its not hardware dependant in the slightest, its all software improvements. Or am I completely missing something here?

PLUS, it was stated quite clearly the 7.8 update would be pushed direct from Microsoft and not be reliant on carriers. There's no reason I can see that even discontinued devices wouldn't be eligible as per my post above. Every device out there can run Mango so there's no reason whatsoever that this update won't be available to all.

Does this mean many/most of the apps of 2013 will not work on my 1 month old Lumia since they will be designed for WP8?
I could care less for the new features as much as the app support.  If this is the case MS dropped the ball big time , especially for us Lumia900 owners who's phone is 2 months old.

Microsoft owes its users a proper update and 7.8 is not enough by any means in my honest opinion. MS must offer current 7.5 users (1) an updated browser, (2) an updated Music+Video (Xbox) hub, (3) further work on the calendar, text, FB integration, etc, and (4) achieve as much parity with WP8 in as far as the CE kernel permits. So in other words, 7.8 needs to be a fairly comprehensive update that strengthens all of the core WP experiences as much as possible. 

First MS dosen't owe anyone anything.  That said lets go over you points.  At the begining of ths show they made it clear that they were NOT talking about user specfic upgrades to the OS so knowing that we could very well see (1) the new browser,(2) the new Xbox Music/Video hub, (3) twiking of the calendar, text, FB, etc..(4) and achieve as much parity with WP8 as far as the CE kernel allows.  Frankly I don't see why the 7.8 update wouldn't cover these points.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Sorry, MS must adopt a "we owe our clients" personality (if it isn't already), anything less would set MS up for attacks. Lets be frank, MS is no Apple where it'll be excused, and it is best that we have at least 1 company that doesn't bank on the goodwill of critics, but takes the initiative at every turn and corner where possible. 

I hope we see MS update WP 7.x across the board where possible, but this should've been made clear today (without necessarily disclosing specific details - e.g. browser). 

About the Surround and others that were discontinued, I would question if they get an update. For instance Telus said they would update the LG Optimus 7 to tango but there was no mention of the Surround and before it was always mentioned. Same on T-Mobile there's an update on the 710 but I heard nothing about the HD7. Please say the HD7 gets the update to 7.8

That's the only feature they mentioned because that's really the only user end feature they covered.  They made it clear that they were not talking about user end features today.  Therefore, we may very well see more features coming in the 7.8 update that haven't been talked about yet.

Beyond all that though it's been 2 years for early adapters so it's time for an upgrade anyways. Now bring on the hardware so I can decide. Most likely a Pure View W8 Nokia!

Well, what else could they do? Of course it sucks for new Nokia 900 owners etc., but really what else could they do? Im with T-Mo and have had an hd7 since they released and my wife has the Radar. Im eligible for an upgrade and have been since last December, but I have waited for the upgrade to Windows 8 in hopes T-Mo gets there paws on some large screened, dual core goodies from Samsung or Nokia knowing full well that when I purchase said device another more robust phone will be announced. Just the way it goes. Either way, im excited for Windows Phones future and im kinda excited to at least get a new start screen. My hd7 does what I need it to do so getting a new start screen will be fun to play with until I upgrade in the fall.

When will full list of improvements be available for 7.8? I want to know if they are giving us backup capability - full phone including SMS

I doubt it. I lost all my SMS messages due to backup not being restorable after Nokia updated firmware.

It doesn't matter to me whether it's wp7.8 or 8 for existing phones, by the early next year, I'll be using my HD7 windows phone for exact 2 years, and it will be proper time for me to get a brand new phone, and a new windows phone 8 handset will surely fll the blank. With the new handset I will be able to fully utilize all the new features from windows phone 8. Will Microsoft be producing cellphones, like the tablet Surface?

I am running the HTC Trophy from Verizon..it is the only WP7 device they have. Verizon CEO is now having a change of heart about WP7. He now says he is excited for WP8. Bring in the WP8 Device MS. :-)

Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it.

Although im thinking I'll be stuck with tmo for a long time, unless you're right and Verizon finally realizes what it's been missing.

Then in that case, I'll be moving my self over to Verizon.

Not happy, due for an upgrade next month now I'm thinking should I wait fir the Windows 8? or change platform?
Really wanted to upgrade to lumia 900, but now I should wait I thinks...

You actually should be happy, you get to wait! What's a few months more for getting in on the cutting edge?

What I want to know is, what is going to get fixed inside the system. I don't mind all the NFC, Hi-Res screen and all that junk. I can live without it. I just want to know what is getting fixed. Are we going to get more improvements on the camera? Are we going to have a better way to message one another? Are we getting a Notifcation system? It seems as though Microsoft left that out. We need answers, I'm on the fence about it. I don't mind it, just give me more info. 

They left all that out on purpose.  They made it clear that today was NOT about end user upgrades to the OS.  Stay tuned.

I'm sure if Verizon has their way, Windows Phone 8 phones will be out long before the 7.8 update is actually available for downloading on existing phones.  Verizon has trained me not to get excited about new phone developments, given they are usually a year or so behind the power curve.

7.8 will be pushed out to all devices over the air and will by pass the carriers.  So no worries about Verizon holding it up.

I just read Joe Belfiore's discussion on the Windows Phone Blog.  He says this: "The new Start screen is so useful and emblematic of what Windows Phone is about that we want everybody to enjoy it. So we’ll be delivering it to existing phones as a software update sometime after Window Phone 8 is released."
So, I will probably have upgraded to a new phone before Windows Phone 7.8 is out.

Any one know if I can just add a small tile next to the to medium tiles I have at the top now....??????? Like where the arrow use to be.

I'm more worried about functionality, it seems like the update is just about UI changes. I'd like to see more than just start screen customizability.

I would like more information on this 7.8 update before I would say if it is fair yet. I like the new start screen but I am interested in things like smartglass and other features.

 I wouldn't hold my breath on too much of the bigger functionality. Maybe a few features but probably nothing significant. Part of the announcement today included the fact that some of the limitations in WP7.x are because of the Windows Embedded kernel, and WP8 will use the same NT-based kernel as W8 opening up a lot of doors for the platform.

I understood WP8 wouldn't be out until 4th qtr. I expect mobile phones to evolve faster than I can upgrade but I still think MS needs to address shortcomings in existing phones like full backup.

DVP surprisingly is still one of the sexiest smartphone around and besides it relatively cheaper at Amazon. Its sells around $250 with full one year warranty. I have personally purchased about 60 DVPs to friends and church members and I still get calls every from friends and people I don't know to order DVP for them. Though I have the Lumia 900 which arguably is the most beautiful phone ever, I still rock my DVP and I can't wait to upgrade it to 7.8.

Microsoft is very likely to provide 7.8 to *ALL* existing hardware on the basis that they're bypassing carriers, and they don't want to alienate their existing userbase. They didn't explicitly say "all", but I believe it's likely given that even Paul Thurrott has suggested as much, and he's often in-the-know with things. Anyway, I'm excited that they're giving existing users anything at all, but I will probably be upgrading to a WP8 device at Christmas.