Microsoft has revealed that the Windows Phone 7.8 update will be released in "early 2013."
Microsoft confirmed as much on a recent blog posting after a week of speculation. Some sources had been suggesting that Windows Phone 7.8 would be released this week.
The new Nokia Lumia 510 has already been launched in certain areas with the Windows Phone 7.8 OS installed, so we know the software is finished. This has left the question as to when the likes of the Nokia Lumia 900 and the Nokia Lumia 800 will be receiving the update.
In a post entitled An update on Windows Phone 7.8, Microsoft laid out its intentions. "We know you’re eager to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update," it acknowledges, "and we want you to know that we’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013."
Windows Phone 7.8 will bring several key features over from the new Windows Phone 8 OS to existing Windows Phone 7.5 phones - though it will remain a completely different operating system.
Among these features, the most obvious will be the new Start screen, complete with resizable live tiles. The number of theme colours will double to 20, adding to the phone's personalisation potential.
Microsoft also highlights Windows Phone 7.8's new lock screen features, such as the ability to set up a lock screen password system to prevent accidental swipes.
Finally, the post mentions that a number of thus-far Windows Phone 8-only games will be coming over to Windows Phone 7.8, including Words With Friends, Draw Something and Rovio's Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars.