I’ve received a lot of emails about Windows Phone 7.8 this week, after assuming that we’d hear about this release by the time Windows Phone 8 shipped. But Microsoft told me at BUILD today that it has no comment about the release, beyond what it disclosed back in June.
As I wrote in Windows Phone 7.8 Preview, Windows Phone 7.8 is the final major update to the now-obsolete Windows Phone 7.x line and will be made available to all existing devices. It adds the Start screen features from Windows Phone 8, including the new layout and tile sizing options.
Windows Phone 7.8 was a surprise announcement at the June Windows Phone Summit event where Microsoft first revealed Windows Phone 8. It’s designed to appease upset early adopters who cannot upgrade their phones to the new version of the OS.
But Windows Phone fans want more than just the Start screen features, and there have been persistent rumors—which Microsoft has denied—that the release would include other Windows Phone 8 features. Nokia has said that it will continue to update its own Windows Phone customers with new apps that still run on Windows Phone 7.x, many of which have since been released.
So what’s next? Right now, it’s just a waiting game: Microsoft still intends to deliver Windows Phone 7.8. It’s just being cagey about the timing.