We’ve been hearing a lot these last few days about Windows 8 and its more-mobile companion, Windows Phone 8, but precious little about the interim OS upgrade, 7.8. The decimal-laden version hasn’t gotten much press of late, leading us to wonder just what’s in store for owners of the current crop of Windows Phone 7 devices, which won’t be able to run Microsoft’s newer OS.
We already knew 7.8 would offer support for new Live Tile sizes and that it would accordingly look the part of Windows Phone 8, but further details were sparse. Despite the iterative nature implied by its x.x version number, this OS will be running on every currently-available Windows Phone device, so it’s features and capabilities are of interest to a great many folks around the globe.
We’re still waiting for more meat to the story, but a bit of gap-filling information has arrived courtesy of some sharp eyes over at WMPowerUser. In reply to a user’s Wall post, Microsoft’s official Windows Phone Italy account on Facebook shared this morsel:
If you’re not up on your Italian, Google offers this translation:
Upgrade to 7.8 will be available for versions 7.0 and 7.5 shortly after the marketing of the devices Windows Phone 8.
Among the features are the new Start screen, the sharing of the calendar using the function Club and access to key Microsoft services and content, including Xbox Music Store library that can be enjoyed by Zune and Xbox SmartGlass.
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In addition to resizable Live Tiles, then, Windows Phone 7.8 users can look forward to enjoying Microsoft’s new Xbox Music Store and the Xbox SmartGlass remote application, as well as the Rooms feature announced alongside Windows Phone 8. The company made mention of the latter feature at its launch event on Monday, but it’s nice to see it confirmed, albeit via notoriously fickle social media.
Still no official word on when Windows Phone 7.8 will drop for existing devices, but we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.