Report: Windows Phone 7.8 coming to AT&T's Lumia 900 next week


Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 mobile operating system will finally roll out to Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Lumia 900 smartphones across the AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) network on Jan. 30.

According to an internal AT&T email obtained by Windows Phone Central, the 100 MB Windows Phone 7.8 update will be available exclusively via PC sideload using Zune software. Highlights include a new start screen featuring resizable Live Tiles enabling more efficient access to apps, photos and contacts, new theme colors, the Bing Image of the Day lock screen wallpaper option, improved accidental wipe protection and other quality and security enhancements.

Contacted by The Verge for comment on the Windows Phone 7.8 launch, Microsoft declined to confirm the Lumia 900 upgrade timetable, but the company said it is working closely with "hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013."

Microsoft first announced Windows Phone 7.8 in June 2012. Because features and applications optimized for Windows Phone 8 smartphones are not backwards-compatible with devices running Windows Phone 7.5, WP 7.8 was built to bring WP 8-like experiences to older handsets; Microsoft and its manufacturing partners also will release new, low-cost Windows Phone 7.8 devices targeting consumers in emerging markets.

Earlier this week, Microsoft released its Windows Phone SDK update for Windows Phone 7.8. The optional update includes emulators that depict how overhauled apps run on 512 MB and 256 MB devices: "Any Windows Phone apps that you build using the Windows Phone SDK (with this update installed) still target and run on Windows Phone 7.5. This update simply makes it easier to test how your apps appear on devices running Windows Phone 7.8," said Windows Phone Developer Experience Product Manager Cliff Simpkins.

For more:
- read this Windows Phone Central article
- read this Verge article

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