Windows Phone 7.8


Windows Phone 7.8 mockup on the HTC TITAN II

Windows Phone 7.8 is an upcoming (and perhaps final) OS upgrade to the Windows Phone 7.x platform.  Windows Phone 7.x is based off of the CE kernel while Windows Phone 8 allowed Microsoft to transition over to the much more robust NT kernel. Because of this, current Windows Phone 7.x users (Nokia Lumia 710, 800 900, HTC Titan II, Radar, etc.) cannot upgrade to Windows Phone 8.

Announced back in June 2012 at the Windows Phone Summit, the 7.8 upgrade was said to come after the release of Windows Phone 8 later that fall. Indeed, Microsoft has now confirmed that it is due to hit carriers and devices sometime in “early 2013”.

Features have not been officially confirmed in the update except for the inclusion of the new Start screen experience i.e. three Tile sizes: small, normal and the doublewide. In addition, re-branding of Zune to Xbox Music and the new Xbox Games icons have been changed, plus the Bing lockscreen wallpaper feature. Other smaller changes are expected in the final release build, pegged at 7.10.8858.

Currently it is unknown which phones will get the update nor which carriers will support it, but Nokia and HTC are expected to fully embrace the rollout.

 

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Windows Phone 8 is to be formally released in a few more hours. But guess a whole lot of us care more about its little brother: Windows Phone 7.8. For existing Windows Phone users who aren't buying a new device at this time, Windows Phone 7.8 is the real savior. There's bad news coming from Chinese site WPDang though: it'll be coming late.

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An Alcatel-Lucent Windows Phone running what appears to be version 7.5 of Microsoft's operating system has been spotted in the wild. According to a report over at Hi-Tech.Mail.ru, the device will be loaded with Windows Phone 7.8 and be available by the end of 2012. Alcatel will have likely chosen to support Windows Phone 7.8 to keep costs down on hardware and to sell less advanced hardware in bulk.

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A new menu option in Windows Phone 7.8 for sharing apps

When we covered the Windows Phone 7.8 custom ROM last week in our hands on video, one thing we missed that has been brought to our attention involves the Program list.

Evidently, when you press-n-hold any third party app within the jump list, you now have a new option besides the current Pin to Start, Rate and Review and Uninstall and that’s Share.

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It's a relaxing Friday that marks the beginning of the weekend and we've got a From the Forums to lighten up the mood and kick-start the closure of the workdays. While we've not published exciting headlines in the past few days, the front page has been busy with more pre-orders showing up for new Nokia Windows Phone hardware, and more.

The Windows Phone Central community has witnessed continued activity as well, so let's jump in.

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The Focus gets some life breathed into it

The other day we gave you folks a quick tour of some bits of Windows Phone 7.8. The upcoming OS update is not yet finished but pieces of it are being incorporated into custom ROMs and are hitting all generation 1 and 2 devices, including the HTC Arrive, Titan and even now the Samsung Focus.

The Focus is considered by many to be the “classic” Windows Phone as it had a great design, sold well and many are in fact still using it. For that reason, it’s kind of neat to see it get this cobbled together 7.8 ROM, which has some other nice bonus features like some Nokia apps and USB Video out.

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A custom ROM with Windows Phone 7.8 bits on the HTC Titan

Although Windows Phone 7.8 is not expected to arrive until after Windows Phone 8 launces, bits of the OS are evidently floating around and are being incorporated in custom ROMs for various 1st and 2nd gen Windows Phones.

One of those is the ‘EB Edition’ found at XDA Forums and meant for the venerable HTC Titan. We decided to flash it on to one of our devices and give it a go, so make sure to check out the video after the break…

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File this under shocking, but wonder hacker Dotcompt has gone ahead an managed to port over Windows Phone 7.8 (early build) from a Nokia phone to a the venerable HTC HD7.

The ROM is now live and ready to be downloaded though like all ROMs, there are some caveats and things to pay attention too, including the fact that this has not yet been widely tested. For the most part, it looks like you just get a new Start screen but it's too early to tell.

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Today marks the start of the 2012 China International Exhibition, and ZTE has arrived guns blazing with the company's mobile phone market strategy director Dennis Lui sharing a very interesting photo with the world. Analysing the capture above, we can see what appears to be one or two ZTE Windows Phone 8 handsets. The device on the right looks almost identical to the ZTE Tania, which runs Windows Phone 7.5.

Unfortunately due to the blur effect added into the mix, it's near impossible to tell what's what within. As well as the similarities to a legacy handset, we can only spot a USB port in the centre on the device in the middle, which appears to be the standard for Windows Phone 8 hardware. If that wasn't enough, we could well be looking at Windows Phone 7.8 here on the Tania. As for the two devices to the left, we're not entirely sure but they almost look HTC - though we could be (and probably are) mistaken.

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She's not wanting your features, gosh darn it.

News of Microsoft backtracking on offering consumers the opportunity to provide requests for features in Windows Phone 7.8 has been circling multiple sources today. This is due to a reply to a User Voice thread that apologises for misleading consumers through a previous reply, which turned out to be badly worded. 

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