The story of Windows Phone 7.8 is a long and slightly sad one. It’s the update nobody really wanted, as anyone who owned a Windows Phone 7 device would have preferred a full Windows Phone 8 update, plus it took so long to arrive, many thought it had been forgotten about. Even though Microsoft confirmed the software was still being worked on in November last year, and the first versions didn’t start to appear until the end of January, and it seems there are still those who haven’t had their phones upgraded.
Nokia Lumia 900 owners contracted to AT&T are among them, but some good news came through the Nokia Care US Twitter account this week, saying Windows Phone 7.8 was ready and waiting for them through the Zune software. Replies to the tweet confirm some users are getting the software, and that it’s installing without any problems.
The cause of the delay in Windows Phone 7.8 coming to the AT&T masses is likely to do with a bug which stopped the Live Tiles from updating in early versions. There are reports of users already having WP7.8 on their AT&T Lumia devices, which were probably part of the initial test rollout. A patch was released in mid-March fixing the problem, but thanks to stringent network tests, these things never reach the customer very quickly.
Still, it looks to be here now, and in case you’ve forgotten, Windows Phone 7.8 brings the new Live Tile system to older phones – where they can be resized so more can be fitted on screen – plus new language packs, background images supplied by Bing, and improved security methods. No, it’s not full Windows Phone 8, but it will give your older phone a new look, and the resizable tiles are fun.
If you’ve got a Lumia 900 stuck on Windows Phone 7, make sure the Notify Me When New Updates Are Available checkbox under Settings is selected, and try the Zune software when you can, as a welcome surprise could be waiting.