Microsoft: Windows Phone 7.8 update to start rolling out in early 2013Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor
When a video surfaced last weekend showing Windows Phone 7.8 running on a Nokia Lumia 510, I noted that Microsoft has been pretty quiet about the update ever since it was made official back in June 2012. Well today Microsoft broke its silence with a post on its official Windows Phone Blog. The company has detailed the update a bit further, reaffirming that the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen with resizable tiles will be included with Windows Phone 7.8, as will an increase in the number of theme and accent colors to 20 total. Also included will be the ability to display the Bing Picture of the Day on a device's lock screen and the "A1B2C3" password challenge to avoid accidental wipes of Exchange-connected handsets.
As for a launch, Microsoft says that new devices running Windows Phone 7.8 are starting to debut at "lower price points" in some countries. The Windows Phone 7.8 update itself is currently undergoing testing with Microsoft and its hardware and carrier partners, and the Redmond firm says that it's working to get it to devices in early 2013.
While the early 2013 timeframe given by Microsoft isn't the most concrete window that we've ever been given, it's certainly better than what we had before. So far it sounds like the nicest features included in Windows Phone 7.8 are the new Start screen and the lock screen password challenge, though the Bing wallpaper and new accent colors will also be nice to help users further customize their handset to their liking. Now Windows Phone 7 device owners just have to wait until sometime early next year to actually get to use those features. How many of you have a handset that's waiting for an update to Windows Phone 7.8?