Microsoft delivers software development kit for Windows Phone 7.8

Microsoft delivers software development kit for Windows Phone 7.8

Summary: Still no word on when existing Windows Phone users will get the Windows Phone 7.8. But the developer kit for 7.8 is available now.


Microsoft has made available for download its software development kit (SDK) for Windows Phone 7.8.


This is an update to the existing Windows Phone SDK. Officials shared download links and more information on January 22. 

Microsoft officials still are not saying when the actual Windows Phone 7.8 operating system will be made available to those with existing Windows Phones. The only official guidance was that it would be in early 2013. The 7.8 operating system already is shipping on new Windows Phones.

The Windows Phone 7.8 operating system brings the resizable live tiles that are part of the Windows Phone 8 operating system to some, but not all, existing Windows Phone devices. It also adds a couple of other more minor features, like new themes/accent colors and accidental-device-wipe prevention.

Because Windows Phone updates are still gated by mobile operators, it's hard to say exactly when users of the various Windows Phone devices will get the 7.8 operating system. There are reports the 7.8 operating system could begin to be pushed out starting January 31. But that doesn't mean every existing Windows Phone user will get the 7.8 release this month.

Typically, if a device has Tango (the most recent pre-Windows Phone-8 version of the Windows Phone operating system), users can expect 7.8 to arrive sooner rather than later, once of my contacts said. But users who are on Mango (Windows Phone OS 7.5) may have to wait longer, the contact added.

Back to the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK.  It includes two Windows Phone emulators (one for a 256 MB device and one for a 512 MB device). But, as Microsoft's Janaury 22 post on the Windows Phone Developer blog points out, "There are no new APIs (application programming interfaces) available to Windows Phone apps in Windows Phone 7.8."

Microsoft is providing cloud-compilation for existing Windows Phone 7.x applications to help make them run on Windows Phone 8, which includes a new core architecture (based on the Windows NT core).

Topics: Windows Phone, Microsoft, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • I'm so worried

    That Sprint isn't going to get this update. The last update we got was Mango and we still have the disappearing keyboard issue. Sprint just wrote off Windows Phone 7.x, I just hope they give Windows Phone 8 a chance and they get some good devices and not just mid/low-end devices. Unfortunately I don't think they'll begetting any Nokia devices, and from what I hear its likely they'll get the Samsung Odyssey which I hear kind of sucks compared to the Ativ S. Hopefully they'll get the HTC 8X instead of the lower end model. Sprint needs a high end Windows 8 device to give it a chance and they need to actually sell it rather than sales people skipping it and trying to sell Androids and iphones. Windows Phone 7 could have done better with the right product and sales people doing their job (it might not have been a home run but it wouldn't have been the big crash and burn it was) Sprint failed Microsoft not the other way around.
    • And that is the problem is living in an eco-system

      where updatesd are controlled by the Telco. It will continue to be a problem with Windows Phone as well as Android. This problem has been around for so long that it should be well known to anyone with even basic tech knowledge. If updating is important to you, then you should be looking elsewhere.
  • Interesting That WP7 Continues To Be More Popular Than WP8

    ...As Nokia's last quarterly results showed.
    • Interesting that you didn't put much thought into your post

      calculate last quarter, release dates of Nokia Windows 8 phones....
      William Farrel
  • Interesting that you didn't put much thought into your post

    calculate last quarter, release dates of Nokia Windows 8 phones....
    William Farrel