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Windows Phone 7.8 firmware update coming January 31st

When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8 they made note of one rather annoying fact for Windows Phone 7 users: there would be no upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 for older handsets, even in the case of the Nokia Lumia 900 and other flagship models.

Instead, they announced that these users would receive an update called 7.8 that would port over as many Windows Phone 8 features as possible to these older handsets. From GSMArena report on a pre-release Nokia Lumia 510, we already know quite a few of these features – including the new 1×1 tile size, Bluetooth file transfers, new theme colours, and a new boot screen, as well as Ringtone maker and Counters apps.

However, they didn’t mention when precisely this update might actually appear. It’s now been about two and a half months since Windows Phone 8 was released and still there’s no official release date for Windows Phone 7.8 – just a handful of rumours on when it may be coming.

The most recent of these has come from the Windows Phone Colombia Facebook group – a fairly official source. The update was brief, stating that some Windows Phone 7.5 handsets would be receiving the Windows Phone 7.8 update beginning on January 31st – within the wider Q1 window that Microsoft had suggested last year would hold the update.

So good news for Windows Phone 7.5 users at last, although it’s not clear which Windows Phone handsets in which countries will be first in line to receive an upgrade. Still, if this rumour is accurate, at least we’ll have the update hitting some handsets in just 10 days.

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