As expected, Nokia appears to have some newer versions of the Windows Phone OS--specifically interim builds between "Mango" and "Tango" that adds LTE support and presumably other fixes not yet detailed.
Now we have confirmation that this is the case and even the version numbers. Reader Lukas E. has sent us a photo of his new Lumia 800 which he won directly from Nokia. Where it gets interesting, however, is his OS build which is pegged at 7.10.8107 (pictured above), a significant bump from 7.10.7740 which is found on a lot of devices today.
More interestingly, we found that the Nokia 900 which is expected to be announced next Monday at CES, is running a similar build: 7.10.8104. This info was gleaned from Lynx Interactive who makes various games for Windows Phone and collects device/OS information for their statistics.
The 810x branch of the OS seems to be an official interim build that many OEMS are using, including the unannounced Samsung Monument, the Samsung Focus, some HTC devices and the Lumia 710. What is not clear, of course, is if this will be released as an OS update or is just for upcoming 4G/LTE enabled phones but it does appear that this branch is getting ready to go public. The fact that a Lumia 800 is running the updated OS is a positive sign that this may be an official update. (There is an even later build, 8714, which may be Tango-proper.)
Perhaps we'll find out more at CES next week. Until then, we'll continue to see if we can find any other changes to the OS--so far, there is no Internet Sharing on Lukas's Lumia 800 and no other discenrable changes that he has noted, meaning this could new hardware preperation.
Thanks, Lukas E., for the photo and info!