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There's been a lot of back and forth in the rumor mill as to whether or not existing Windows Phone devices will receive an update to Windows Phone 8, but today Microsoft finally put an end to the mystery. The company has confirmed that current handsets won't be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. The reasoning behind the decision is that most of the changes in Windows Phone 8 are hardware-related, and so things like support for multi-core processors and NFC won't make much of difference to devices that don't actually have that hardware.

Microsoft won't be leaving current Windows Phone users out in the cold, though. It revealed that it'll be bringing an update to Windows Phone 7.8 to existing products. The company didn't dive into many details about Windows Phone 7.8, but it did say that Windows Phone 8's new Start screen with resizable tiles will be included in the 7.8 update. 

Microsoft also explained the Windows Phone 7/8 applications situation a bit today. While apps written for Windows Phone 7 will work both on Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft says that apps made specifically for Windows Phone 8 may not play nice with a Windows Phone 7 device.

The news that current Windows Phone's won't be bumped up to the next major version of the operating system is a bit of a disappointment for current users. Still, those users do have an update to Windows Phone 7.8 to look forward to, which will bring with it one of the most noticeable new WP8 features in the new Start screen with resizable tiles. There's no word yet on Windows Phone 7.8 will actually be rolling out to users, but we'll pass along more details on the upgrade as we get it. What do you all make of this news, Windows Phone users? Will you be happy with an update to Windows Phone 7.8 or are you planning to upgrade to a Windows Phone 8 device?

Via The Verge, AllThingsD


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