Waiting for Windows Phone 7.8? Don't bother

A month ago Microsoft released Windows Phone 8, with major improvements designed to give the company's smartphone operating system a better fighting chance against established market competitors such as Android and iOS. Current Windows Phone 7.5 users, however, will only get a limited number of the new features through Windows Phone 7.8, which the Redmond, Wash.-based corporation announced that it will ship in early 2013.

The launch date, however, does not coincide with the Windows Phone 7.8 ETA provided by Microsoft Italy on Facebook late last month. The update will be rolled-out to existing customers in "early 2013", rather than shortly after Windows Phone 8 is released as was previously suggested by Microsoft's European arm. The new smartphone operating system is still in the process of testing and approval, suggesting the reason why the upgrade is not yet deployed. Microsoft's reward to early Windows Phone adopters is nothing. Clearly the new thing, Windows Phone 8, is greater priority.

Alongside the previously known features, Windows Phone 7.8 will also deliver more customization options through a higher number of accent and theme colors. The lockscreen is targeted as well, as it will be able to render the Bing Picture of the Day and prevent "accidental device wipes" on devices that are connected to Exchange accounts by employing a new "PIN/password challenge".

Windows Phone 7.8 will also extend the number of markets where users can purchase apps and use the Xbox service. Microsoft says that coverage increased to 95 countries, a number which the Redmond, Wash.-based corporation wants to further extend.

Do you have Windows Phone 7.5? Are you satisfied waiting until next year?

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