Windows Phone 7.8 rollout to start on January 30 after all, at least for AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 900
It won’t be January 31, but one day earlier. That’s when the rollout of the update to Windows Phone 7.8 is due to start. This is true for AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 900, according to an internal email from the carrier detailing the update. Unfortunately though, all the details in it are focused on that one device, so it’s impossible to tell whether 7.8 will be making its way to more phones on the same day, on January 31, or at a later date.
That said, it’s good to finally have some official-sounding information on the matter, showing that the update is near. Let’s hope Microsoft will do everything to persuade its carrier partners worldwide not to delay this update too much – otherwise, all its whining about Android’s fragmentation will turn into a nice bit of irony.
The aforementioned email thankfully comes with full details about what the update will contain for eager Windows Phone 7.5 device owners. Of course the new Start screen will be in there – this is perhaps the one feature we’ve so far heard will absolutely be in. Alongside that, you’ll also get new tile colors, a Bing ‘image of the day’ lockscreen option (which changes your lockscreen image once a day automagically), as well as some kind of improved protection for accidental unlocking of your phone (touching it by mistake).
There will be ‘quality and security enhancements’, with greater software stability promised, and a number of security patches also applied. These won’t be noticeable, of course, but they’ll help your device become leaner and more protected.
The marketplace experience has been overhauled, and apparently you can expect a newly optimized download procedure as well. New APIs will also be in, such as the Bluetooth DRM free file transfer API, the User data migration API, and the Convert a local DRM-free MP3 file to a ringtone API. However, these will have to be used by developers in their apps in order for you to actually take advantage of them. So whether or not you’ll ever see such revolutionary features depends entirely on those app devs.
The update file weighs in at around 100 MB. The update will have to be performed using the Zune desktop software. After updating, you’ll be running software version 2175.2307.8858.12480, baseband version 18.104.22.168, and you’ll have kernel version 7.10.8858.136.
Now you’ll just have to be patient for five more days, in case you own a Nokia Lumia 900. During this time, you can read and re-read the changelog above and decide for yourself whether Microsoft has managed to do enough for WP 7.5 device owners to alleviate the fact that such products will never be updated to WP8 or whatever comes after that.