Reports are circulating that Microsoft has started sending out its Windows Phone 7.8 update a little earlier than expected, although it’s currently only being seen on Nokia’s range of Windows Phone handsets. The long-awaited software update wasn’t expected to arrive until early 2013, perhaps during Mobile World Congress in February, and the last we heard the software was still in the testing stage with networks and hardware manufacturers.
According to a Dutch blog focusing on Windows Phone, its Lumia 800 has already received the update through Zune, and it’s a four-stage process. Nokia has a tight relationship with Microsoft, so it’s not much of a surprise its phones are first to see Windows Phone 7.8, particularly because it has just launched its first Lumia device with the OS installed as standard.
The update brings with it the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen with the option to resize Live Tiles, a choice of 21 different theme colors, the chance to make Bing’s Picture of the Day your wallpaper and a couple of redesigned app icons. According to WP7.nl’s report, there are no surprises inside Windows Phone 7.8, and the author notes that anyone expecting, “additional functionality” will be disappointed. There’s no mention of the added security measures, such as the lock screen password system, SmartGlass, Xbox Music or the new Rooms feature. We wonder if some or all of these currently unseen features will be a part of Windows Phone 7.8 installed on new devices, and not the update for older handsets?
If you’re eagerly awaiting Windows Phone 7.8 and own a Nokia Lumia phone, then it’s worthwhile connecting it to Zune on the desktop and seeing if it’s available. You may be lucky enough to find it waiting.