Windows Phone 7.8 more than a new Start screen? Microsoft solicits user requests for new update.

The Windows Phone 7.8 update may be more than just a pretty face

While all eyes are focused on Windows Phone 8, for many in our audience, the 7.8 update is just as important because due to contracts and the world recession, simply buying a new $500 phone is not an option this year.

We’ve repeated ad nauseam that the 7.8 update won’t come until well after Windows Phone 8 hits the streets. In fact, on our podcast we’ve put for the idea that 7.8 was a last minute decision by Microsoft.

That notion is now gaining ground as Microsoft is soliciting user feedback on what features they want most in the 7.8 update. That should tell you that 7.8 is far from complete at this point as they still haven’t locked in new features.

WP Central

New Start screen in 7.8

That’s the bad news as it means 7.8 could still be months away. The good news is that they want to know what you want and there’s a good chance we may get more than a new Start screen.

Microsoft request at UserVoice

Reader of our site, 'Lippidp', has forwarded us the conversation that is starting at Microsoft’s User Voice site. The first one is from the Microsoft Admin, responding to a request about bringing WP8 to current phones. The response is thus:

“As you know, Windows Phone 8 is a generational shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware.BUT we care deeply about our existing customers and would like to know SPECIFICALLY what features you would like to see on 7.8 and vote INDIVIDUALLY for the one that you want most (vs. one large grab bag of features).”

That should certainly make users feel a little bit better that 7.8 will have more than just one-new-feature on board. The question next is, what do you want from 8 that they can add to 7.8? Head over to the User Voice Forums to vote (and maybe suggest our poll as evidence?).

Likewise, it’s interesting to see Microsoft going through and respond to earlier requests, like this one from Lippidp on over-the-air (OTA) updates in Windows Phone 8. While we know that feature is coming, Microsoft is evidently going through and checking those features off as “Planned”.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—we really like this receptive Microsoft who truly cares what their audience wants from the OS. In turn, they will make the best mobile OS there is because it’s driven by user demands.

Source: User Voice; Thanks, Lippidp, for the links

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • i was also getting emails today about the confirmation of features that i requested like the screenshot feature
  • You too?!
  • I started getting yesterday.
  • But is that a confirmation for the screenshot feature coming to wp8 or 7.8..? I could jst mean that they are planning it for wp8 alone right..?
  • Nice to know and a good move - on the other side a kind of a joke. I always thought that this is what User Voice was always for. Should we now revote...?
  • My first thoughts on reading this article are similar to yours. I'm really annoyed that Microsoft is doing this... again. They already requested user feedback for new features/capabilities several months go, and we all responded assuming that we were providing input on the next update/s the WP7 platform would receive. MS instead created a new OS (WP8), apparently used the user feedback in the creation of it, and are now asking users again to provide input for improvements on WP7. WTH?? This is just stupid. Why can't they use the feedback provided several months ago if they indeed want to improve WP7, why put users through another circus where we get worked up about what we want without any assurance whatever that our personal wish list will be granted? Far as I'm concerned, they already have the data they are now requesting, data gathered months back.
  • I thought the same...but: I realized, that all my votes were used for features, which will already be implemented in WP8. So I used my votes for all the other options I still miss (or at least which were not announced to be in WP8 jet) That's the nice thing about Users Voice. You have limited you can revote for the newer, better stuff. Or simply change your votes depending on the actual announcements about WP8 and WP7.8 stuff
  • @1Rahtid, is it that big of a deal? You're typing a feature that you would like and they are coding it. Ooohh you have to resubmit it. Copy and paste is just a dreadful process isn't it?
  • Well, it's now confusing because there are plenty of ideas that were not specifically submitted for 7.8 (and still aren't). Microsoft should make a new subforum and link to it from the general Windows Phone UserVoice page.
  • Exactly what I was thinking. They dont care, this is just a dog and pony show to make them look good after dropping the ball, again. Personally Im just going to buy some old wp7s and not update them since they work just fine. 
  • Off Topic (please don't kill me) but, I have been very lucky today to witness a 20mins demo of  Nokia Lumia 920 by a Nokia Rep at Phone4u UK (sorry can't say where). That HD+ SCREEN is something else! You need to see this phone in real life to understand its beauty.
    I also had a nice conversation afterwards with the Phone4u lady who is taking care of my contract needs and she told me that most of them watched the webcast and people have have started asking about the phone and the Iphone5 since yesterday.
    Unfortunately she couldn't say more on the release date. Anyway I have already register my interest for the phone and she will get me one (in white) the first day it gets realease. Lucky me (hihihihi).
  • Nice! You're so lucky. I'm getting a yellow 920.
  • Yeah i also wanted to go all yellow but the kind of job i want to do will not fit with that colour. Shame. The red is a killer too.
  • The yellow one is awesome! I'm going to go with gray or black because they're better for "hiding" scratches and a dirty case.
  • Hey, I was only hoping for the new start up screen so anything else is a plus.  And I'm glad they're asking for some input from the public although I don't think it's necessary.  But if they are able to put some additional features that the public wants or likes then that's a winner in my book.
  • +1
  • cool
  • Since Sprint won't give their customers ANY updates since Mango,im not holding my breath for 7.8 Antony know if xda is going to have tango for the Arrive?
  • Just like every update that has ever existed on Windows Phone in the past, you can manully update your phone. 7.8 won't be any different. XDA and Tango for the Arrive? You could have manually updated months ago. OS updates are non-device specific so your request makes zero sense. I've had an Arrive here since June running Tango, time to join the club, dude.
  • I updated my Titan but unfortunately voice notes do not work. ATT sucks.
  • You suck as I'm on ATT with an L900 and voice notes work perfectly; as a matter of fact when a friend of mine who has Android receive a VN from me, he sent a text back saying I didn't know you could do that
  • Yes but ATT never released the official Tango update for HTC Titan owners therefore when I try to send a voice note the recording comes out blank. So unless you know how to fix the issue keep your mouth shut and enjoy your Lumia 900 my friend.:)
  • Furthermore my friend, had this option to manually update not been available, I would still be stuck in the stone ages as ATT NEVER released the keyboard fix update either for the HTC Titan. Just so you know.:)
  • Maybe you have to blame HTC rather than AT&T.
  • For WP8 & WP7.8 the updates are coming OTA directly from Microsoft for all phones. That's one feature I'm glad they're adding cause it is gonna make a HUGE difference. And I updated my Arrive to Tango it's easy if you follow that steps.
  • I manually updated my lumia
  • There's nothing I enjoy more than being wrong when it comes to a company changing its mind and giving consumers something good in return. :) I'm glad that they are going to give 7.8 users something above and beyond. Thanks, Microsoft, for showing that your customers matter!
  • Indeed. In a world where companies seem more arrogant and indifferent to their customers wants I stand a proud supporter of Microsoft and Nokia
  • Still doesn't help with the waiting game. 
  • Ever heard of patience?
  • Ever heard of instant gratification?
  • Your keyboard must be sticky.
  • I still say the biggest one they need is a migration tool of some kind.  An app or WP7.8 feature that will back up my application data to the cloud (similar to how WP8 will do it), and then lets me download it to my new WP8 device.
  • +1
  • Fully agree with this. Resetting or changing phones stinks.
  • It's nice they're soliciting feedback, but it's worrying that Microsoft still doesn't know what consumers want.
  • What consumers want? They want EVERYTHING, of course. With no bearing on reality and what is technically possible. Having a poll, forums and triaging features for a realistic update is welcomed.
  • That's not what I meant, they need to have an idea of what the gap is and how to fill it.
  • They know how to fill the gap they just want to know what the customers want most ! A refreshing stance compared to others that give you what they think you need. This is the ony update I have seen that asked what features do you really want to see along with what they are already including. Every update comes with people asking for features because they heard about said feature. (Bluetooth file transfer comes to mind.)
  • True that. Also, sometimes consumers don't even know what they want.
  • That's because every time they give you something its not good enough so it makes sense to gather a list and give the most important
  • I think by now Microsoft know what is needed, the whole feedback exercise doesn't make sense.
  • No one ever seem to ask for Text Size, but it such a big deal for anyone over 40, who probalby wont even know this request thing is going on. 
  • +1 for those of us well past retirement age, thanks for bringing this up.
  • +1
  • I would be VERY happy to get the up-dates here-to-fore neglected by AT&T. No update on my Focus since Mango!! We sure are getting some great service and customer support from the so called front runner Windows phone provider. Should tell you how well they are promoting the WP enviroment,do a secret shopper at any of the half dozen or so AT&T stores I have been in and you will instantly see why WP has not gained any traction with actual "buyers" shopping for a new smart phone.I can't be the only early adopter in this boat!!
    Sorry for the rant, but has been a very frustating last several months dealing with their lack of concern for those of us who bought into the idea the system would be updated as MSFT made these up-dates available. 
  • I have a Focus as well. Here's the deal. We all got fu*ked hard. Only option is updating on your own.
  • Im on ATT & go mango/tango and all the updates Nokia said we would get
  • We're talking about how AT&T screwed over the Focus owners, dude.
  • Shut with your damn Nokia. We're all aware the L900 has it's updates. What people are complaining about is that some of the first generation phones haven't been updated through official channels yet. Go troll somewhere else, this isn't the first post I've seen you saying "oh I have everything on my Nokia derp derp you're a liar".
  • as the mobile guru on windows phone user voice says - vote INDIVIDUALLY for the one that you want most (vs. one large grab bag of features).
    every body Please Please vote for IE 10, it has very few votes

  • +1.
  • Something where we can pick out own tile colors. Fix the current Me tile. Other than that, I'm good until next year. I would say notification center, but lets not have that argument again.
  • Some sort of a notification center would be really nice.
  • It has the 2nd most votes after "Apollo/WIndows 8 for 1st Gen Device". So hopefully MS will get the picture. 
  • Here's a radical idea: how about support the people who supported the OS from the freaking beginning or close to it? Give us the new start screen when Windows Phone 8 releases and continue to update 7.8 later down the road. I've said this before and I'm sticking to it: at the very least, we should receive the cosmetic change before or on par with the release of the update. IT'S JUST THE NEW START SCREEN! Other things like Nokia Maps and other functional changes can be made later down the road. Come this holiday season 7.5 users will be looking at everyone else(and many new to Windows Phone) open their Christmas presents while we look on with excitement and a little jealousy. It's unfortunate enough many of us will have to wait til our contract renews to get a new device, but to make us wait even longer for just a small change is ridiculous. And if 7.8 wasn't finalized from the beginning Microsoft shouldn't have teased us with it and make us wait another 6 months or so before we even see it. I am not at all upset about the 7.8 update, let me be clear, but I am upset about the time table of us getting the update.
  • #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    I sure don't know why the late release date, it's like they are trying to make it even harder for themselves (like they don't have many challenges to overcome already). Many customers (and also developers unfortunately) won't commit to WP before 7.8 and 8 is released so every month is a loss.
    They had a lot of time to make everything right, many customers took a risk buying a lumia 800 or 900 and now they'll have a phone that won't get smarter or gain a new experience with any of the upcoming apps. I think 7.8 should be released asap since those are only scraps for people to withstand the next year or until the'll be able to buy a new device.  
  • We bought the Focus on Day 1, and the Focus S when it was released. My next phone is going to be an Android after waiting and watching and more waiting. Progress on Windows Phone moves at a glacial speed, and I'm not talking about the melting type. All the unique features that made Windows Phone enticing, like skydrive and Xbox companion seem to be recieving more effort and regular updates for other platforms.
    If WP 7.8 isn't going to be released to coincide with WP 8, my top feature request would be a voucher for a new phone ! Sticking it to your early adopters with a product line that is already in such a poor position is insane. How am I supposed to recommend Windows Phone to anyone at this point.
  • Personally, I think that WP7.8 will most of the functionality that WP8 will, sans functionality that requires the updated hardware.
    This 'user request' is just a ruse, in my opinion - they will reveal WP7.8 as intended and include all of the functionality that they originally intended it to have, and then say 'See, we listened to your requests users; we give you want you wanted'.  While Microsoft does listen to their users, WP8 is about 7-8 weeks out from being released; one would have to be pretty naive to think that Microsoft is going to extensively test and implement requests from the User Voice site in that short period of time.
    Basically, this is just going to give Microsoft an indication on how close they are on their current feature list for WP7.8 vs. User Voice requests; any requests that aren't included, well, they basically have a couple of months to come up with explanations they feel would mitigate disappointment.
  • How is this better than just saying what they're going to include? It's not. It's probably because it's just a few useless scraps here and there. Good thing I don't own a 2nd gen WP or else I'd be totally pissed. My $180 DVP served me fine for a year and now I'm using a Galaxy Note while I'm waiting until WP8 is released.
  • the only thing i would REALLY want in 7.8 is the new kernel, but that's not going to happen. :(
    but for me, come novemeber it'll be time again for another phone
  • They could do it though. But it will take time to do it though. maybe they want to release 7.8 first and then get some parts of the NT kernal to an 7.8 update 
  • No, the kernel is THE reason the phones 1st and 2nd gen phones won't get WP8. It is completely different and requires all new drivers which the manufactures and Microsoft are unwilling to provide. If the kernel gets ported then you've ported WP8 to the old phones and there would be no reason to choose which features get back-ported to WP7.8.
  • I really don't see Microsoft updating us to IE10, I think they will leave it on IE9 even though it would be a better choice to have 10. I am not too bothered about what feats get added as long as we have some decent ones, to have the phone stand up next to the WP8.
  • I would like IE10 and screen shot
  • I really wish they would release 7.8 about a Month before WP8, so all the loyal WP7 users can get a peak.
    Or let it leak...(MS knows how to do this with out looking like they do it)..and let the XDA users get their hands on it, so any dev or hackers can have it....and in a few days the manual update so everyone even locked phones can have it.. 
    Edit: This would give Devs (exp the lazy devs) more time to get their apps ready for 7.8 and 8 (3 sized live tiles, one for small, one for medium and one for regular). WIndows Phone 8 is going to be release then your waiting for your favorate dev to update their apps. This would make them rush a little more to be READY for WP8....
    And at this point, I would be happy with 7.79 (not 7.8) with just the start menu update...but, that's just me (Just trying to figure out my new tile layout before going WP8)
  • In my opinion if they wanted to show how much they care about their current user base they would have made sure to give us 7.8 when WP8 is launched, at least. But no, they have already stated that 7.8 will be 3+ months after WP8 is launched. I could be completely wrong on this point, and thus would change my argument, but the 7.8 update is carrier controlled right? So if that is the case then who the hell really knows when people will be getting that update. XDA and flashing ROMS is not for everyone. I agree with an above post that this is purely for show and they know what they can and cant implement in 7.8.
  • It's not carrier controlled
  • Where did they say that? And it's not carrier controlled its been explained time and time again already! Stop talking out of your áss!
  • they have already said on this site that 7.8 would not be coming out until 3 months after WP8 is launched. I already said I was unsure about the carrier control of 7.8 so maybe you should get your reading comprehension on?
  • Can you provide a link to such source? Saying "this site" is not a valid source.
  • Notification Center
    Wallet Hub no NFC
    file management and backup
    add those to 7.8 and everyone will be happy
  • Even WP8 isn't getting a notification center or file management.
  • Honestly, everybody is saying how they hope this update would come dinner than WP8, but I would be willing to wait even longer than the alleged 3 months if they manage to squeeze as many features as possible.
    hell, I would even be willing to pay for this update if they promised parity with WP8, except of course for those features that are hardware-dependant. I know, some of you might think I'm crazy I want my Lumia to get as much features as possible.
    Back to topic, I'm so happy they are accepting suggestions as to which features users want the most. I think this will pretty much secure that those indispensable features (like screenshots) will make its way into 7.8.
    But the thing is they are asking which WP8 we want for 7.8, but we still don't know what features are in WP8... So it's kind of a hard job.
    Still I'm going to give much thought before suggesting something because I don't want to waist this golden opportunity. Yet I'm pretty much the only one that doesn't want a notification center. I feel it would ruin the esthetic of the OS, and I'm pretty positive is not happening, since is not even part of Windows 8.
    Much Love!
  • I have no need for a notification center, either. The live tiles is working well for me as they are. In fact, the notifications I get on my company-issued iPhone are annoying and don't give me any useful information.
  • Only thing I need or want, is the Nokia Drive app on my phone.  Having half-assed navigation absolutely blows.
  • +1. Nav on my WM 6.5 three years ago was better than on Mango.
  • I have no doubt in my mind that AT&T will never push the update anyway.
  • >> IE10
    >> Nokia Drive 
    ...for now 
  • nothing to do with this artical guys but is anybody having a problem with the WPCentral app not loading new articals white dots at top just scroll with black screen HTC HD7 Illinois Tmobil
  • Me too Focus Flash
  • The one thing I really miss on WP8 is gapless audio playback. I listen to a lot of live music albums and the breaks between tracks annoy the h*ll out of me and might actually move me to the dark side where my trusted Rockbox player will be my best friend.
    For me there's not too much else I need tbh but I would take whatever I can get. Better backup options and better Bluetooth support (with at least FTP and proper audio streaming) would be nice, but I fear the missing bits there come with the limitations of the 7.x core.
    I will probably hold off on getting a WP8 device as I fully expect there to be a 20MP PureView Lumia with rich recording in stereo by April next year so it would be nice to get a slightly better experience untill then.
  • Yeah, that's totally weak. I also hate when I have nav up and it does its little beep it pauses the music. So I'll be rocking with the Ramones and this little beep totally ruins the groove and fucks up the beat. WM 6.5 did not have either of these problems.
  • Sucks because the Zune had gapless audio playback.
  • That's what's so weird. I still own a Zune 80, that has gapless playback, so I'm not really sure what happened with the transition to Windows Phone.    MS went backwards in functionality.
    If the open source Rockbox can figure out gapless playback (ditto i-Devices) I'm not sure what the problem is with Windows Phone.
  • I rarely have gaps in between my music
  • Backup and restore of SMS, game saves, everything, should be #1.
  • +1 we def need an effective way to backup & migrate our data
  • +1, without this there is little incentive to move to WP8 when as much will be lost as moving to iOS or Android.
    Please anyone who cares about this make sure they vote for it, all the votes seem to be going for the stupid stuff like screenshots and built in Skype.
    and another
  • Agreed, that after the start screen, some kind of data migration to WP8 should probably be one of the top priorities.
    If the transition to the new OS will require losing all your data on your current WP7, consumers will consider other alternatives, like iOS and Android,  where the data loss will be equivalent.
    Even the clunky old Symbian running on current Nokias has better data migration software than WP's non-existant feature.
  • I just hope whatever gets put in 7.8 that it's shipped out to ALL first Gen phones. My DVP should get the Microsoft love as well.
  • MS said it will.
  • They could start with the whole raft of bugs & issues still affecting different facets of the OS. There used to be a master list floating around that did dwindle somewhat post-mango. How about saving our camera settings for starters? :P
  • I'm confused, do you mean you can't save those settings or are you being sarcastic? You can save settings now
  • No, the correct answer is that I am retarded :P The other day I was reading a list of bugs & missing features and saw the camera one (it was pre-mango I think) - I even did a quick test of changing settings & exiting the app and it didn't save. Now I look again and 'save settings' is standing out like dogs balls :P Soooo yeah, forget that one - there are still a lot of bugs & issues. Just last week I was trying to sync a mp4 video via zune... It wouldn't even get to 1%, my phone would fully freeze, zune would abort, and I had to battery-pull to recover.
  • IE10. (If it's not possible, at least the cosmetic changes like changing the 'refresh' button and back/forward arrows)
    Screenshot capability.
    More tile colors and stuff like that.
    BETTER WORLDWIDE SUPPORT FOR VARIOUS FEATURES. I can't stress this enough, it's ridiculous that stuff like the Podcast marketplace/OTA subscription is still US-exclusive. Bing is kind of shit in most countries also.
  • Sorry Microsoft but the feature that matters most to me will be running WP8 apps, given how the already poor app support has dwindled over the past few months with companies claiming they are holding off development of apps or updates until WP8.
    Making it easy for devs to convert their apps to 7.8 doesn't mean much if they don't want to spend any extra time doing this.
  • They better improve the whatsapp experience cause is one of the most important apps in the smartphone world. I can't believe they haven't noticed that already. Also, I don't think they are making smart moves by providing 7.8 with less features than wp8. They need to grow of course, but they also need to keep the small user base they already got. Just my two cents.