Microsoft is about to push out another large update to the Windows Phone platform that will bring many new features to the existing users, but there were a few reports surfacing that some users are already receiving the update on their devices. The fact that some devices were already getting the update was a bit surprising, as Microsoft said that the update would not arrive until early 2013. We reached out to Microsoft to see if we could get any insight into what is going on, since the company has not officially said anything about end users receiving the update ahead of the announced schedule.
Microsoft's comment is posted below and to be honest, it provides no value as to why some users are seeing the update. Microsoft has provided Neowin the following comment:
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.
While that comment does not provide any insight into the issue, a comment obtained by Tweakers.net from Nokia does give quite a bit more information. Nokia stated that they have started pushing the update out to pre-production devices - which may be in the hands of some journalists and developers - but devices from carriers will not see an update until early 2013, which would explain why a select few are seeing the update. This early push is being done to test the deliver mechanism built into Windows Phone 7.8 for OTA updates.
So there you have it, the only folks seeing the update are those with non-retail production devices; a bit of a bummer as we would have loved to seen Microsoft deliver the 7.8 update as an early Christmas gift.
Source: Microsoft and Tweakers.net