Feeds

Microsoft's promises slow upgrade for loyal Phone 7 customers

Getting Phone 8 in form, but not in function

The essential guide to IT transformation

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 users may not be able to upgrade their handsets to Phone 8, but an update promised by Redmond will make them look as though they have – though not until next year.

Windows Phone 7.8, probably the last upgrade to the "Tango" version of the OS, will add the customizable application tile sizes of its more advanced counterpart, plus 20 color schemes with which to express one's individuality. Faking it will have to do for the current user base, since Phone 8 is based around the Windows 8 kernel and can't run on older hardware.

Redmond is also adding a new screen-locking system with version 7.8, the option to stream the Bing picture of the day, and a safety pane that asks Exchange users to confirm message deletions. The number of countries that can buy apps for the handset will also rise by over 30 per cent.

As upgrades go, there's not a lot there.

"We know you’re eager to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update, and we want you to know that we’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013," said Terry Myerson, VP of Windows Phone.

While the channel has been reducing Phone 7 inventory since before the new OS launch, there's still a lot of older kit out there and a few units yet to sell. Whether a fake Phone 8 has much additional pulling power remains to be seen, but it makes sense to get existing users used to the new UI for when it comes time to trade up.

Microsoft announced the UI shift for Phone 7 back in June at the preview of its successor, and the fact that it's going to take until an unspecified time next year tells you how high the operating system is on the company's agenda. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.