For all the fuss made around the launch of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 it didn't take the more level-headed among us too long to notice the ongoing lack of any news on Windows Phone 7.8.
Finally there is now something to report, after a fashion – a response to a query on Microsoft's Italian Facebook page has revealed more about the lesser-spotted low-fat version of WinPho.
We'll start with arguably the most important point – there's still no fixed release date to report, though the post does say Windows Phone 7.8 will arrive “soon after” the launch window for the new wave of Windows Phone 8 devices. So probably around the end of November, to hazard a guess.
The post does shed a bit more light on some of the features the Windows Phone 7.x update will bring to the table. Here's the text in full, courtesy of Google Translate:
“The upgrade to 7.8 will be available for versions 7.0 and 7.5 shortly after the marketing of the devices Windows Phone 8.
“Among the features are the new Start screen, the sharing of the calendar using the function Club and access to key Microsoft services and content, including Xbox Music Store library that can be enjoyed by Zune and Xbox SmartGlass.”
We assume there's more, but it's a solid start. But here's the question: with the unreachable Windows Phone 8 promised land now very much there to be had, does WP7.8 even matter any more? I don't mean the OS itself on new devices like the Nokia Lumia 510, but the upgrade for existing ones.
It doesn't change the original "insult" (as many WP7 users viewed the announcement that there would be no upgrade path to WP8), but I suspect by now most people are ready to move on (many have probably already done so quite literally from an OS point of view), and the appearance of the Windows Phone 7.8 band-aid might do little more than remind them of the original wound.
Or maybe I'm totally wrong - it has been a while since I laid down my Samsung Omnia 7, to be fair. Maybe others feel differently? Feel free to share in the Comments.