Yesterday Microsoft announced the official roll-out of its Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade for the first generation Windows Phones. As Microsoft unveiled earlier, Windows Phone 7 devices won't receive Windows Phone 8 but 7.8 instead, which at least mimics some Windows Phone 8 elements and also introducing further enhancements. Just to recap: The focus of the 7.8 upgrade is pretty much the new Home screen screen which adds the ability to create live tiles in three different sizes. Furthermore, 7.8 brings ten new accent colors for the surface and the daily Bing image can be used to add more individuality to the lock screen.
Other features and enhancements of Windows Phone 7.8 include:
- Extra security when the Windows Phone is reset via Exchange account which provides a new prompt. This prevents that Exchange users reset their smartphone accidental by entering the password multiple times incorrect
- Music tracks can be directly stored and used as a ringtone (manufacturer dependent)
- Easy transfer of data to other devices through Bluetooth (manufacturer dependent)
- Expansion of the Windows Phone Store and the Xbox LIVE connection from 63 to 120 countries
- Improved Browser and E-Mail support for Arabic and other complex script languages
- Improved display of Chinese fonts for better readability
Unlike Windows Phone 8 updates, the Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade also comes as a side-load update and it still requires Microsoft' retired Zune software. As always, this is a staged upgrade which means not all devices are receiving the update the same time. If you haven't received it now, it should be only a question of time until it also hits your Windows Phone.
Cheers ~ Arne