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Windows Phone 7.8 update available in weeks? [Updated--not exactly]

Windows Phone 7.8 Update right around the corner?

An interesting tweet from Nokia USA is suggesting that the Windows Phone 7.8 update will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Now we've seen Nokia have short turn arounds with past updates (the connectivity issues) but that mainly dealt with in-house issues.

The Windows Phone 7.8 update is a little different in that it is coming from Microsoft and has more cooks in the kitchen so to speak. We also don't know what changes the 7.8 updates will have beyond the Start Screen modifications.

While we like the customization features Windows Phone 7.8 brings to the table, we're going to be a little skeptical on the "coming weeks" time frame.

Who knows, is it too far of a stretch to think the Tango update could become the Windows Phone 7.8 update?  

Update - Looks like Nokia may have got their messages a bit mixed up. They Tweeted to us a clarification on the whole update:

"The update coming to Lumia owners in the coming weeks will bring Wi-Fi sharing and flip-to-silence. Start screen update is TBD."

Thanks, Alexander, for the tip!

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Reader comments

Windows Phone 7.8 update available in weeks? [Updated--not exactly]

122 Comments

It is not a major update to 2 month old phones.  It is a damn configuration file to change the way it looks.  Nothing under the hood is being updated.  

You want them to miraculously upgrade your phone's CPU and internal hardware with a software update? Besides, the whole change log hasn't been released yet.

There is no need for a new CPU to run true background tasks, allow VoIP to run properly, and allow native access.
I really wanted to make my WP work out for me. My Focus S replaced my iPhone 3GS, and I love metro on my phone (and hate it on windows). However, there are still too many things I can't do, and WP 8 doesn't fix that from what I can see. Planning on going back to iPhone 6 when I can. :(

No way. I have a first gen HTC and I'm 100% sure it's not getting updated. At&t will never let that happen.

You mean the screen you get when you hit the search button? If so, I don't think it's going anywhere.

Is it? They made sure to not show that part. I'm thinking it's somewhat different. Maybe notification on the left and apps on the right

No, they didn't show the app list because there was a bug in that pre-release build that caused application icons to not appear in the list (just text).

I agree, at least it will look similar to Windows Phone 8. The only difference it the hardware support and not able to run c++ apps.. If the developers don't change all at once I will be a happy man. :-)

I can't see devs coding native in C++ unless they have to (for whatever app specific reason) UNTIL WP8 device numbers outstrip WP7. So should be a year at least before backwards compatibility is a significant issue for Gen 1 and 2 devices. IMHO

What about tango for the LG optimus 7? Wasn't it supposed to be out by today, the 20th came and went and I haven't got it... :/

Wow people are still having the disappearing kayboatd issue?!? Got rid of that with a custom tango rom for my focus.;-)

Also, Nokia said they're talking about their updates, not 7.8. you should read the whole exchange on twitter before jumping to conclusions. They are obviously trying to manage this load that just fell on their heads

Yeah, this is just there new apps and app updates that are coming not 7.8.  All the features of 7.8 have yet to be annouced so we will likely not see it until about the time WP8 rolls out.

Actually, I would prefer if it came more towards the release.
If it came out now, then there's little hope that WP7 devices would get much more than the cosmetic start screen change.
With fingers crossed, a WP7.8 release around release of WP8 would mean that MS would shove as much WP8 functionality as it could into WP7.8 ... I could only hope!

I totally agree. I think this the best case scenario. WP7 + 7.5 get a massive update without hampering the next generation of Window Phones. One Lumia 900 owner who is very happy.

I'll believe it when I see it.
I'm still on AT&T running 7720...  We all know how good they are at pushing updates.
 

Did anyone of you just saw Joe Belfiore's comment on the WP8/7.8 article at wpcentral's sister site imore?

If it was truly him commenting, he kicked some ***

I don't think it was actually him commenting the article, but the points this "Joe Belfiore" brought up were spot on.

There is no way in hell that's belfiore, just by him saying "they" when referring to Microsoft. Plus I can't imagine he would be calling iOS design language "disgusting". These guys are at their roots, designers and programmers who generally (Steve jobs excluded) have crazy respect for the work these companies do to further tech and our expectations of a great OS. Its people like "fake belfiore" who make WinPhone fans look bad.

I like the thought of customizing the tiles, but at the same time im gonna miss having that space on the side. It made everything look so clean.

You can still keep your space on the side if you stick to a 3 small tiles grid instead of a 4 small square grid.

Please answer me this Daniel Rubino, so far all that's been promised to us is the start screen experience, correct? True multitasking isn't available to us, I'm guessing for every 10 new apps for WP8 (shares Win8 kernel) we will maybe get 1. New small tiles allow more way more live tiles on screen without scrolling, but we're only allowed 9 background tasks at once and we've seen devs get lazy on optimizing the push method of giving us data, to save time and costs and using the pull method instead. I know hardware limits my use of NFC, dual core use, wallet, and other features, but I feel like I got shafted for buying a Lumia as my app selection will grow stale and likely fragmentation occurring by not being able to play native code games online with other WP users. Also, no notification system or way of improving app relaunches by pressing live tile or icon. I think I just got given the biggest consolation prize in the history of technology. A new start screen? I've seen Chinese knockoff manufacturers make phones that have the same home screen as iPhones and this is supposed to appease me? I'm letdown as a WP user knowing what my hardware was only capable of and Microsoft's lack of transparency by saying we got a start screen and no details on what else or lack of incentives to devs to create apps for my now ,LEGACY device.

I feel the same way.  Obviously I wasn't expecting MSFT and Nokia to push a hardware upgrade over the air, but I certainly was expecting something more than a start screen refresh.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the WP7.8/8 Start screen - but is that going to be it?  No changes in multitasking?  No notification changes?  No way to fix Google Chat or Skype so they can multitask properly?  No way to have a Google Latitude-type service running in the background?
 
Obviously the whole story hasn't been told as of yet, and more information about 7.8 will be released as fall approaches.  But if the Start screen is the only upgrade that WP7.8 is being given, I'm going to be pretty irritated.  

Well Skype on three UK use a dial out number to call rather than data.. Now surely this could work inwards on all telcos, with Skype servers knowing who is signed in without the app actually running.

Neo Nuke, PhilR8:   Well said, both of you. 
 
I myself bought into Microsoft's nascent phone platform knowing that it was rapidly evolving, that wrinkles were being ironed out, and missing features were being added.  Based on Microsoft's update history in the PC space, and a couple of years of iPhone ownership (with updates), I figured it would be fun to try something new, and that I'd be along for the ride (via updates) as Microsoft honed their new platform into a serious competitor to the iPhone.
 
I can understand technically why they needed the kernel re-write, and of course I don't expect new hardware features like NFC, but I still think it is very poor customer relations on Microsoft's part to offer such an insultingly minor update package to their entire early-adopter customer base.
 
Given that they need to make a clean break with the new kernel and multi-tasking features, they should look for some way to make it good with their early-adopters... either with a more substantial set up upgrades in 7.8, or some kind of credit toward upgrade to a WP8 device.

I know Microsoft better stop playing around and update this damn 710 lumia on t-mobile.. My patience is running very thin... The dropping keyboard is ridiculous and there's no excuse for the 710 to still be running .7740 with all these bugs and problems..

So I wonder how long it will take for HTC and others to come through with the updates?  I'm still waiting on the updates for my Sprint Arrive since the initial Mango.

Hi - Jason From Nokia here
The update coming to Lumia owners in the coming weeks will bring Wi-Fi sharing and flip-to-silence. Start screen update is TBD.
 
 

Really.. Please sort out the 3g bug. I reported months ago. Comes out of standby with signal then drops to zero. And other phones on same network show full signal.

Should have been available today! Regardless, I want to play around with the Start Screen. For those concerned about the negative space, it is still achievable. If you notice you have single wide (small) tiles and a double wide (medium) tiles. Obviously if you have three rows of single wide or small tiles instead of four you've left with a negative space on the right. You can probably even have that negative space on left if you want. By having these combinations, you can have a negative space:
three rows of single wide tiles
two rows of single wide and one double wide
etc
i think that many of the pics doesn't do the tiles justice as many were just thrown together to showcase the flexibility. static pictures look ugly and uninspired but the videos and mostly in real life they look undeniably better.

Someone knows if AT&T is going to screw this nice update with their delayed update policy? Hope not!

For all those with Lumia phones. Why not go to xda-developers and do a search for Nokia lumia 710 debranding. It's very simple to load the latest software (8773) on Nokia phones. So u will loose all your apps and date. Will have to reinstall everything from scratch. But, for the amount of time u guys bitch about carriers (Nokia and Microsoft has nothing to do with this) not pushing updates, it's a small price to pay to have the latest software from Nokia. And yes internet sharing is in there.

No way man, the new UI definitely coming with new feature of live tile which allows the developer can custom their live tile more. There is no sign of SDK yet, don't expect it until this Fall.

I have a Samsung focus s and I was wondering if Nokia maps would be offered for all wp7 devices in 7.8 since they are moving away from Bing maps. I would be very pleased to have it

Was at an MS NDA session on WP8 1st June and they took a lot of flack for not having an update for WP7 phones. 7.8 was not discussed so I think they didn't have any plans...I therefore think 7.8 will be a while..

What worries me for first Gen devices is that Suillivan(?) was quoted saying that MS would put a first priority on WP7.8 for the Lumia and other devices later. As WP7.8 will be released AFTER WP8 I expect 7.8 to be ready before Christmas. But other phones might have to wait until q1/2013!

 
Is Arabic and RLT will be supported in 7.8 ? Since those features are only SW and no HW involved. 

I logged in just to tell siddharaj to stop being a spamming douche and I hope that 7.8 comes to all Omnia W's and Focus Flash's EXCEPT his.

Haha +1. I'm as passionate as the next guy about WP but ALL perspective has been lost here. So you bought a WP phone yesterday and its not getting WP8? so what! Who lied to you exactly? It certainly wasn't Microsoft. It certainly wasn't this site, or most of the responsible tech sites out there. If you didn't research properly, im sorry for you- but no one had a gun to your head. WP 7.5 still goes toe to toe with the big players out there. 7.8 WHENEVER it happens is free. Get over it. If its ruining your life, you need to reassess your priorities.

And, realistically speaking, support won't be dropped for the Lumias in the foreseeable future. Unless developers want to exlusively leverage the new features, they are more than likely going to target WP 7.8 users in order to reach the masses. By the time WP8 picks up steam, everyone here will be pretty much eligible for an upgrade, and can start looking at WP8 devices.

Well, whatever comes after WP8, to be precise, but that's fine by me. (Happy Lumia 900 owner.) I doubt we'll still be talking WP8 in Spring of 2014.

If I bought an iPhone 4gs today, I'll get iOS 6 on it. This isn't ruining my life, it is causing me to think that my next phone will be an iPhone again instead of a Windows Phone to replace my Focus S.
This isn't about ruining our lives, this is saying that MS is not bringing their best product to compete with Apple. That is very much on-topic.

I agree; I don't mind not getting the hardware-specific updates because I can wait for a WP8 phone. I do like all the software changes - new Start screen, true turn-by-turn navigation, map overhaul, etc. I would love all of this to be available in WP 7.8. That, and the realistic scenario that WP 7.8 will continue to be supported in future apps for the foreseeable future, will keep me going until I'm elibigle for an upgrade.
Edit: Meant to reply to bruceferg

I hope the Windows 7.8 stopgap wont be the final nail in the coffin for Nokia, as many may hold off buying a Lumia for the next few months waiting for WP8 to arrive. I'm not sure Nokia can buy that much time.
 

Hard to imagine that it wouldn't be the final nail, though.    Unless there's a big check on the way from Microsoft, as compensation for basically cutting off Nokia's air supply for six months.

I just found out that I'm stuck with my Verizon plan until May of next year. : | I guess I can get the update just won't use that ugly ass UI with the squares all over the place.

My phone has also failed to update since 7.5 and I still have the same complaints as everyone else. My keyboard disappears and there is barely a notification system. I will, however, admit that I like the little icons at the bottom on the sliding unlock screen. I grind my teeth, however, every time I forget to use the back key when going back to an application and accidentally press the icon which forces the entire app to restart and my place to be lost.
 
One of my personal issues with my Windows Phone (Samsung Focus) is that I can't make photo albums on my phone. It seems like it would be a relatively basic feature considering that all my old, simple phones could do it. I had an iPod touch that lacked this feature as well. I'm trying to comprehend how smartphone makers haven't developed that yet.
I also think that it is silly that there isn't a Windows Phone based app that allows for "post-its" on the start screen. There is an external app, Sticky Tiles, that allows for this, but if the start screen is supposed to be extremely customizable, we should be able to post whatever we want on there instead of just applications and shortcuts.
I plan on keeping my WP despite these software holes, but my patience is wearing thin. If my phone breaks after the warranty expires and I am forced to buy a whole new phone, I might consider going Android.

...it truly can't be that hard to get 7.8 out since by all accounts... the changes are purely cosmetic.  And didn't the last update fix flip to silence?
 

Heyy...happy US Cellular HTC Arrive user here. Just curious: will the proclaimed hit apps on android and iOS 'draw something and 'words with friends be coming with the new and highly awaited 'WP update 7.8'??? I am currently running WP 7.5, and am patiently waiting in line for the 7.8 update for my Arrive, and would really like to be able to use those apps. My mom has an iPad, and i had an iPhone, and we used to play that all the time. but i decided to go windows for a while. And so far: hating it. Straight up, when is this 7.8 update coming, and will i get to play these *awsome* apps that even android managed to get on their marketplace?????? Thnx

Hello,
MS and its parters have 2 options with the 7.8 update.
1. Release it before Windows Phone 8. This would energize the install base and everyone with a 7.8 phone would be running around showing their friend, essentially energizing the Windows Phone 8 launch. - This would be the smart way to do it.
2. Release it after Windows Phone 8. What about all those Windows 7.5 users? Are they running around showing people their phone? No, they are hiding it from people wishing they had the new version and disappointed that they have to wait another year before they can upgrade with AT&T. - This would be the typical corporate way to do it.
Personally, I was looking to pick up an RT to tide me over, but it is too expensive to pick-up on a whim. Guess I am waiting for the Pros, let hope they are less expensive than a Mac Air. Maybe? Hopefully?
Roger