For those Windows Phone users who aren't yet in a position to buy one of the new generation of Windows Phone 8 devices, the only option is to continue waiting for the next major OS update for their handsets. It's been a long wait for Windows Phone 7.8, which was first mentioned at the WP8 announcement in San Francisco all the way back in June, and Microsoft has so far only confirmed that the update will be rolling out to users in "early 2013".
As we've discovered in recent weeks, however, not all devices will be getting the 7.8 update. Last month, LG confirmed that its Optimus 7 won't be updated, and with Dell now well and truly out of the smartphone business, it's unlikely that the Venue Pro will be updated either.
But owners of Samsung Windows Phones have cause for celebration, as the company has confirmed that Windows Phone 7.8 will be made available for all devices. WindowsPhoneItaly.com received the confirmation from Samsung directly, who told them:
We confirm that our products with Windows Phone 7.5 [indeed, all Windows phones so far marketed by Samsung, N.d.R.], will be upgraded to version 7.8, but will be made available with timing determined by Microsoft".
All first- and second-generation Windows Phones were eligible for update to 7.5, so as Samsung says, this guarantees that all Windows Phone 7 handsets will qualify for the 7.8 update. However, the last part of that statement is critical; while each model will be offered the update, the responsibility for pushing the software to devices lies with Microsoft, which will need to work with carriers to test and finalise the update before it's deployed. We've already seen how this process has delayed the availability of updates on many occasions, so it may be best not to expect to receive Windows Phone 7.8 for your Samsung handset any time soon.
Still, it's certainly encouraging to know that Samsung remains committed to owners of its previous-generation devices, even as it moves forward with the recently released ATIV S and upcoming Odyssey Windows Phone 8 handsets.