Despite needing the okay from Microsoft to begin the rollout to existing handsets, Nokia has stated that it has already begun to preload the stopgap OS onto new handsets, like Lumia 800 units, before they are shipped out to consumers. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given that the company was reportedly testing out the update on pre-production handsets overseas last month.
“With Windows Phone 7.8 beginning to ship pre-loaded on Nokia Lumia smartphones, we will naturally be deploying the software to our factories for product rollout,” Nokia said in a statement to the website, PocketGamer.biz. “At present we have no more information we can give about wider availability of the update for phones running Windows Phone 7.5.”
The idea behind Windows Phone 7.8 is to extend support to those with Windows Phone 7 handsets despite the recent release of Windows Phone 8. It brings some of the features of the new Windows Phone 8 to the last iteration of Microsoft’s mobile OS, including resizable live tiles, new color themes, Bing Wallpaper of the Day lock screens, etc. Not all of Windows Phone 8’s new features will be available on Windows Phone 7.8 though, mostly due to hardware restrictions.