It has been a long time coming, but finally it looks like Windows Phone 7.8 is ready for the public, at least those members of the public who own compatible Nokia Lumia devices. Just in case you need a reminder, Windows Phone 7.8 is Microsoft’s apology to those who purchased a Windows Phone 7 handset, only to discover it wasn’t going to be updated to Windows Phone 8.
However, it has taken months and months to arrive, prompting us to wonder if it was going to come at all. A few weeks ago, some Lumia owners began reporting the update appeared on their phones, suggesting Nokia was busily testing its systems, and sure enough it has now announced on its official Conversations blog the update has been greenlit.
The post reads, “Following extensive software testing, update notifications will begin to appear for Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 owners with an unlocked phone or operator approved software during February.” Nokia warns us the update is, “Operator dependent,” and adds not every network has approved Windows Phone 7.8 yet. It goes on to say if Windows Phone 7.8 hasn’t arrived in the next three weeks, chase up your network. We’re sure they’ll love that.
So what goodies can you expect from a Windows Phone 7.8-equipped Lumia? Nokia says the new OS will provide Windows Phone 8’s Start screen with its resizable tiles, improved child and home screen locks, Bing’s background images and more language packs. Although Nokia’s post goes on to talk about features such as Internet sharing (which means tethering to you and me) and a suite of new camera features, these have been added to Lumia phones in the past.
Apparently, the update will, “make your Lumia feel like a brand new smartphone,” something many owners will be pleased to hear. If you want to ensure you know the minute Windows Phone 7.8 is ready to download, go to Settings, Phone Update and select Notify Me When New Updates Are Found.