Microsoft confirms Windows Phone 7.8 to have more than just the new Start screen

Today at Tech Ed in New Zealand, Microsoft confirmed that Windows Phone 7.8, the soon to be announced update to existing Windows Phone handsets, will be including more than just the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen, and that it will indeed include new features.

Obviously, Microsoft wouldn't say what those features are, but it's great to know the platform will get more than just the bare minimum. They did say that past Windows Phone 7.8, the OEM's are going to provide their own updates that enhance the experience even further, and that the platform won't be abandoned entirely.

More news on the update is expected to come in the next month or so, as Windows Phone 8 is released to the public.

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Looking at the latest reply from the admins, looks like the highest voted feature was worded bad in the first place hence they're not adding any more features to WP7.8. Unfortunately, doesn't even look like we'll get IE10 (only important feature for me on my current phon, don't even care about the new start screen on current gen devices)

For get about updating Windows Phone 7.5. I have a better idea. Nokia/Microsoft should allow everyone who bought a Lumia 800 or 900, upgrade to the new device for 1/2 price. Not only that, force the carriers to allow the upgrade even if they just bought the device.

Let Microsoft pay the carriers the cost for the handsets so the carriers still get their money. They only sold a couple million in the USA anyways, they can afford to help us move up to a newer device at no cost to us.
That way they reward the early adopters.

what i'm interested in is the new browser... to be honest that's almost the only thing that is NEEDED for the average user, any other feature is just an extra (well, screenshot feature would be cool but i don't think we should expect it)

morden said,
what i'm interested in is the new browser... to be honest that's almost the only thing that is NEEDED for the average user, any other feature is just an extra (well, screenshot feature would be cool but i don't think we should expect it)

Exactly, that's why I'll be quite ****ed off if they don't upgrade it.

They're bringing also changes under the hood from what I'm reading, namely WinRT (or a subset) that will allow newer apps written for WP8 and it's new SDK to also run on WP7.8. So it's a little more than just a start screen even if it's not big and bright and in your face

Obry said,
They're bringing also changes under the hood from what I'm reading, namely WinRT (or a subset) that will allow newer apps written for WP8 and it's new SDK to also run on WP7.8. So it's a little more than just a start screen even if it's not big and bright and in your face

It's more like they're expanding the WP7.8 SDK to make it easy to make software also work on WP8. They're not backporting any features.

Sorry WP7 owners, but there's nothing on that slide that "confirms" anything but the new start screen. Once again, hopes have been raised for nothing. WP7 is EOL to MS, even if it's still working fine for its users.

PenguinNeo said,
Sorry WP7 owners, but there's nothing on that slide that "confirms" anything but the new start screen. Once again, hopes have been raised for nothing. WP7 is EOL to MS, even if it's still working fine for its users.

I too was wondering why the heck they posted that slide. The slide says exactly the opposite of what the article is saying.

andrewbares said,

I too was wondering why the heck they posted that slide. The slide says exactly the opposite of what the article is saying.


This is actually the same slide deck that was presented at TechEd Europe in June. The same slide was presented in that session and there was no mention of more features beyond the Start Screen. We'll have to see the video for today's session on Channel 9 until we know for sure. But given the speaker is not a Microsoft employee, we can't really attribute anything he says to "Microsoft" (he's a top WP app developer, however, who may have access to the 7.8 SDK).

As I figured. Obviously a lot of the changes already announced for WP8 are hardware dependent, but I always figured software features would find their way into 7.8...

MDboyz said,
I'm pretty sure old WP7 phone will get most the updates that don't require the new hardware.

No, they won't. Microsoft is keeping completely silent about anything that WP7.8 will include. It's because it will barely include anything and they don't want to set people off from buying an obsolete WP7.5 phone.

mrp04 said,

No, they won't. Microsoft is keeping completely silent about anything that WP7.8 will include. It's because it will barely include anything and they don't want to set people off from buying an obsolete WP7.5 phone.

Most likely true. They were silent on upgrading to WP8 because the truth was going to suck.

My gf is getting a lumia 800 this weekend, she will love the **** out of it for the next 18 months.

Drama queens really get on my tits with all this abandoned/obsolete crap.

DARKFiB3R said,
My gf is getting a lumia 800 this weekend, she will love the **** out of it for the next 18 months.

Drama queens really get on my tits with all this abandoned/obsolete crap.

I'm with you on the Drama Queen note, but why get her a 7.5/7.8 device? WP8 is almost here, and you will want her to have all the goodies, plus have full app support for anything that comes and she may want to use.

DARKFiB3R said,
My gf is getting a lumia 800 this weekend, she will love the **** out of it for the next 18 months.

Drama queens really get on my tits with all this abandoned/obsolete crap.

Just wait for the next iteration of phones.

DARKFiB3R said,
My gf is getting a lumia 800 this weekend, she will love the **** out of it for the next 18 months.

Drama queens really get on my tits with all this abandoned/obsolete crap.

Your GF is going to hate you when in 4 months she can't find any new apps for her phone.

mrp04 said,

Your GF is going to hate you when in 4 months she can't find any new apps for her phone.

Is there something wrong with the old apps that she can only look at new apps?

mrp04 said,

Your GF is going to hate you when in 4 months she can't find any new apps for her phone.

Microsoft's own recommendation for developers is to develop apps that target 7.8 as they'll work on both 7.8 and 8.

TheReasonIFailed said,

Is there something wrong with the old apps that she can only look at new apps?

Yeah, a lot of the apps suck (ex Facebook)

TheReasonIFailed said,

Is there something wrong with the old apps that she can only look at new apps?

Some stuff is just missing, if it won't come, you've just got a hole in your phone's capabilities.

andrewbares said,

Yeah, a lot of the apps suck (ex Facebook)

And you think a new SDK will magically fix that? That's just the nature of app stores.

dtboos said,

I'm with you on the Drama Queen note, but why get her a 7.5/7.8 device? WP8 is almost here, and you will want her to have all the goodies, plus have full app support for anything that comes and she may want to use.


1: She wanted her free upgrade on her £20 per month contract asap (1GB, 600 mins, Unlimited texts)
2: The 920 is too big for her tastes (how big is the 820?)
3: There are more than enough genuinely awesome apps to keep here happy
4: Like 90% of the population, she'll probably only ever use a tiny percentage of those
5: Those apps will continue to be supported as they do not require any of the features available in WP8
6: New apps will continue to be released for the very same reason
7: Again, like 90% of the population, she doesn't have to have the very latest and greatest, the second it drops (unlike myself lol)
8: My upgrade isn't due for 9 months, and there is no way in hell she is having a better phone than me lol

But seriously, people need to poke there heads out of there little bubbles and realise that the vast majority of the planet are not raging tech-heads like us.

It's not Armageddon, or the Second Coming, they're just ****ing phones to most people.

Dot Matrix said,
Skype integration? Because Skype on 7.5 is useless.

I don't think so, unfortunately. I remember reading somewhere (WPCentral maybe) that Skype isn't getting integrated.
I hate the Skype app.

Looking good, means my 900 may be able to hold off until wave 2 of the WP8's form Nokia

Should be an interesting next couple of months...

Features im after is backup to the cloud and Screenshots

Yeah that leaked Nokia document shows they also added like 2 modes to the camera

Don't expect 7.8 to be much

ACTIONpack said,
It should at least have IE10!

Absolutely, if Windows Phone 7.8 doesn't get IE10, I'm moving away from the MS ecosystem entirely, as leaving that out is completely unacceptable. If they put it in, I probably still won't get a WP8 device, but that's because BB10 just looks way better to me, but I'll still spend the money on a Windows 8 upgrade for my laptop.

migo said,

Absolutely, if Windows Phone 7.8 doesn't get IE10, I'm moving away from the MS ecosystem entirely, as leaving that out is completely unacceptable. If they put it in, I probably still won't get a WP8 device, but that's because BB10 just looks way better to me, but I'll still spend the money on a Windows 8 upgrade for my laptop.

Well pack your bags. WP7.8 will definitely not have IE10.

migo said,

Absolutely, if Windows Phone 7.8 doesn't get IE10, I'm moving away from the MS ecosystem entirely, as leaving that out is completely unacceptable. If they put it in, I probably still won't get a WP8 device, but that's because BB10 just looks way better to me, but I'll still spend the money on a Windows 8 upgrade for my laptop.

BB he said.

no worries , you would be back

RIM in there way to bankurptcy and shutting down

ACTIONpack said,
It should at least have IE10!

It can't possibly have IE10. To do that they have to port the entire DX11 framework to Windows CE, something they're probably not interested in doing. Besides, it has been confirmed as not coming.

mrp04 said,

Well pack your bags. WP7.8 will definitely not have IE10.

Not a problem. That's the beauty of true choice - leaving one platform doesn't mean actually giving anything up.

Ci7 said,

BB he said.

no worries , you would be back

RIM in there way to bankurptcy and shutting down

No they're not. They have no debt, and have 2 billion in cash. They're not going bankrupt. Anyone who's used a PlayBook knows that they've got the best OS on hand, and all they need to do is get it in people's hands. Which they won't have a problem doing because they have among the best distribution of hardware of any mobile company in the world.

ACTIONpack said,
It should at least have IE10!

7.8 does not have the hardware to support IE 10.. IE10 is going to need alot more juice.. and with a single core phone their is really no point to upgrade because it will be negligible..

migo said,

Absolutely, if Windows Phone 7.8 doesn't get IE10, I'm moving away from the MS ecosystem entirely, as leaving that out is completely unacceptable. If they put it in, I probably still won't get a WP8 device, but that's because BB10 just looks way better to me, but I'll still spend the money on a Windows 8 upgrade for my laptop.


and your upset that microsoft is abandoning old phones..and you are switching to blackberry.. my GF had her blackberry 5 phone for 2 years and the upgrade to bb6 totally slowed it down and she did not get bb7.. and no bb7 devices can get bb10... so its pretty much the same

Lachlan said,

7.8 does not have the hardware to support IE 10.. IE10 is going to need alot more juice.. and with a single core phone their is really no point to upgrade because it will be negligible..

Runs fine on an underspecced netbook. I don't buy the argument that it requires hardware. IE9 made the big leap with requiring hardware acceleration.

Lachlan said,

and your upset that microsoft is abandoning old phones..and you are switching to blackberry.. my GF had her blackberry 5 phone for 2 years and the upgrade to bb6 totally slowed it down and she did not get bb7.. and no bb7 devices can get bb10... so its pretty much the same

At least BB7 devices have a good browser. IE9 is completely inadequate. They should be picking up the slack where they can. I don't expect full upgradability, but I expect them to do everything they can, even if it costs them money.

migo said,

No they're not. They have no debt, and have 2 billion in cash. They're not going bankrupt. Anyone who's used a PlayBook knows that they've got the best OS on hand, and all they need to do is get it in people's hands. Which they won't have a problem doing because they have among the best distribution of hardware of any mobile company in the world.

correction they will have just 1 billion in cash and probably a lot less in the next Q, BB10 phones just look like total crap right now and the OS is not much better, they still have a long way to go before these devices are ready for the consumer, maybe by march 2013 you will get a device and actually you will see that win8 and rt are going to be the best os on tablets and notebooks. I have a BB device and it is just total crap. All our company phones will be switching to WP8 phones very soon.

migo said,

Runs fine on an underspecced netbook. I don't buy the argument that it requires hardware. IE9 made the big leap with requiring hardware acceleration.


Because netbook, laptops and PC's have had these hardware features for a decade already. Those phones however... don't.
Still funny how you compare a phone to a fully functional all-in-one device like a netbook.
Theres a reason MS waited so godawfull long to replace CE with NT. Might want to look into this information before ranting about it and spreading FUD.

korupt_one said,

correction they will have just 1 billion in cash and probably a lot less in the next Q, BB10 phones just look like total crap right now and the OS is not much better, they still have a long way to go before these devices are ready for the consumer, maybe by march 2013 you will get a device and actually you will see that win8 and rt are going to be the best os on tablets and notebooks. I have a BB device and it is just total crap. All our company phones will be switching to WP8 phones very soon.

That's not a correction, you're making a prediction and you're not someone who would actually know.

None of the BB10 phones have been released, so you again don't have a clue what you're talking about.

In fact you're all around talking about stuff you know nothing about.

Shadowzz said,

Because netbook, laptops and PC's have had these hardware features for a decade already. Those phones however... don't.
Still funny how you compare a phone to a fully functional all-in-one device like a netbook.
Theres a reason MS waited so godawfull long to replace CE with NT. Might want to look into this information before ranting about it and spreading FUD.

Adreno 200 isn't a GPU? That's news. The current phones have the necessary hardware to support IE10. Not porting it is nothing more than laziness/stupidity. Which wouldn't be surprising, Bing Maps on WP STILL doesn't have transit directions, which is inexcusable.

That's cool. It will make my Lumia 800 a little more interesting over the next couple of months until my current contract completely expires. I got my 800 as a developer phone but they have now converted me

virtorio said,
Damn good thing you're not in charge.

i agree, people like that would probably just completely abandon their consumers.
I myself can't wait to get wp8.

aviator189 said,

i agree, people like that would probably just completely abandon their consumers.
I myself can't wait to get wp8.

He's being realistic and you somehow turn him into a bad guy??

aviator189 said,

i agree, people like that would probably just completely abandon their consumers.
I myself can't wait to get wp8.

To be fair, Microsoft has given the 7.5 users the shaft and "They did say that past Windows Phone 7.8, the OEM's are going to provide their own updates that enhance the experience even further, and that the platform won't be abandoned entirely.", is a load of horse crap and we all know the OEM's are going to leave these users in the dust.

I'm not saying it's good or that it should happen this way, just keeping it real.

nekkidtruth said,

To be fair, Microsoft has given the 7.5 users the shaft and "They did say that past Windows Phone 7.8, the OEM's are going to provide their own updates that enhance the experience even further, and that the platform won't be abandoned entirely.", is a load of horse crap and we all know the OEM's are going to leave these users in the dust.

I'm not saying it's good or that it should happen this way, just keeping it real.

Depends on the OEM. Nokia won't. HTC has been pretty good with throwing out their own software too.

migo said,

Depends on the OEM. Nokia won't. HTC has been pretty good with throwing out their own software too.

My LG will .. they will leave me in the dust

Lachlan said,

My LG will .. they will leave me in the dust

My GF's also screwed with her Dell, which is a shame, that was some nice hardware.

migo said,

Depends on the OEM. Nokia won't. HTC has been pretty good with throwing out their own software too.

Both entirely debatable. It's just the way the mobile market works. I don't see any OEM bothering much with the WP7 phones once WP8 is in full swing.

Osiris said,
7.8 never going to be 8 guys, just let this dinosaur go extinct.

When I said extinct I didnt mean WP platform... I mean version 7

A cpl more features don't make it WP8 and as others have mentioned pretty unlikely OEMS will continue to do much so unfortunately if you were a late adapter to the platform you've probably missed out a bit.

I grabbed an Omnia 7 the second they came out, I feel I've got money and value from the platform+hardware am happy to let it fade away since they arent going to support WP8 for it.

Osiris said,

When I said extinct I didnt mean WP platform... I mean version 7

A cpl more features don't make it WP8 and as others have mentioned pretty unlikely OEMS will continue to do much so unfortunately if you were a late adapter to the platform you've probably missed out a bit.

I grabbed an Omnia 7 the second they came out, I feel I've got money and value from the platform+hardware am happy to let it fade away since they arent going to support WP8 for it.

I agree with you to an extent, I grabbed my LG Optimus 7 a bit after they went on sale, it's almost 2 years now (it will be in December for me) but I'll be looking at getting a Lumia 920.

I think it's fine, at least for MS, to stop at 7.8. As silly as it may sound, if it does have enough features in the update itself to hold, say, Lumia 900 buyers over till their 2 year contract is up (I fully expect Nokia to support them with their own apps) then it works out.

Unlike the PC market where MS supports Windows for some insane amount of time the phone market itself is different. Their new "18month upgrade support guarantee" says it all. People go through phones so quick, or tend to, if you buy them subsidized through your carrier. This whole upgrade thing only really bites people like me who buy their phones unlocked for full retail price, I spent 500 euros on mine.

On the other hand I expect first gen WP8 devices will be upgradeable to WP9 (I don't see a reason why they wouldn't be).

nekkidtruth said,

Both entirely debatable. It's just the way the mobile market works. I don't see any OEM bothering much with the WP7 phones once WP8 is in full swing.

Nokia doesn't have a choice. They need to build goodwill for their brand.

Osiris said,
7.8 never going to be 8 guys, just let this dinosaur go extinct

A 1,5-year old dinosaur. Yeah, right.

Osiris said,
7.8 never going to be 8 guys, just let this dinosaur go extinct.

if you read all the other articles it seems that windows phone 8 might be delayed. They have not even released an sdk yet .

So why let 7.8 go extinct when it may be the latest version of the OS till possibly next year?

Aletheia said,
Among others, I hope that 7.8 has a screenshot feature like WP8.

If you have an dev unlocked phone (which is free if you're a student) you can download "Screen Capturer v3"