@radiointheuk Hi there, the 7.8 Windows Phone update will be released by the end of January and will be available via Zune.— O2 in the UK (@O2) January 18, 2013
Earlier today we reported that Nokia has updated some of their apps and that they now require Windows Phone 7.8 to be installed. This prompted some speculation that the update might be released really soon. Now there seems to be some further proof to fuel our collective optimism.
British carrier O2 has stated earlier on Twitter that this is indeed the case. Responding to a follower's question they mention that Windows Phone 7.8 will be released by the end of January and that users will be able to upgrade their phones via the Zune software.
As our readers know, WP 7.8 doesn't bring too many additional features but it does bring the ability to better customize users' start screen with resizable tiles as well as a wider range of color themes. The Bing auto-changing lockscreen will also be present though it's still not very clear if third-party apps will be able to use this feature or if it's restricted to first-party ones. There are also some general bug improvements, as with any update and there will likely also be some OEM specific firmware upgrades.
O2 is the first carrier to confirm our earlier suspicions that WP 7.8 would be arriving by the end of this month. As we get closer to the actual launch we can expect other carrier to speak out. Let's just hope they won't delay this update like they did with previous ones.