Windows Phone 7.8 is finally coming. Granted, it’s still going to be the New Year before the update is out and established on all Windows Phone 7 handsets, but at least we know when it’s coming.
In a post on the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Todd Brix has said that the reach of apps and games in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is being expanded to more consumer markets.
At the moment, Windows Phone 8 apps reach 191 markets. Due to the capabilities of the Windows Phone 7.x OS and the changes that would be required to support those markets, it’s just not possible for Windows Phone 7 apps to hit all of them. But that’s not stopping Microsoft and the Windows Phone team expanding the current market reach in anticipation of Windows Phone 7.8.
After some testing, 95 markets are now supported – up 34% - and the list is expected to grow by the end of January, when testing will conclude.
Brix also recommends downloading the Windows Phone SDK 8.0, allowing you to update your apps to support the new Live Tile sizes and template. This option is extended to Windows Phone 7 apps, giving you the chance to update them for the new Start Screen.
It’s more proof that Microsoft are prepared to push the older OS to the absolute limits of its capabilities. While some people will start to cry “Fragmentation!”, there is no reason why people can’t buy a Windows Phone 7.8 handset and still enjoy the same experience as Windows Phone 8 users.
Source: Windows Phone Developer Blog