Nokia has started pushing to existing Windows Phone 7.X users the long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 update, as of January 30.
Microsoft officials said in November last year that the 7.8 update would be preloaded on new Windows Phone handsets aimed at specific markets, and then pushed to existing Windows Phone 7.x handset users in "early 2013."
If you are a Windows Phone user with a different handset, when will you get the update? I asked Microsoft and officials declined to comment. I'm guessing this lack of comment is because Microsoft isn't controlling when the carriers will push this. But otherwise, all I can say is SIGH!
This is Microsoft's only comment on the 7.8 rollout:
Windows Phone 7.8 is the refresh Microsoft first detailed last summer. The 7.8 update provides existing Windows Phone 7.X users with the resizable tile option on the Windows Phone start screen that makes their devices look more like Windows Phone 8 devices. The 7.8 update also includes accidental wipe protection; support for Bing image of the day; and new accent colors among some other minor features.
Microsoft announced plans to deliver 7.8 to existing Windows Phone 7.X users as a kind of consolation prize. Officials made the announcement when the company officially revealed that it would not be providing the Windows Phone 8 OS to all users because somechanges in hardware and at the core level of the operating systemwouldn't work well/at all on some existing phones.
According to Nokia's blog post on January 30, update notifications will begin to appear for Nokia Lumia 510, 610, 710, 800 and 900 owners with an unlocked phone or operator approved software during February. Nokia's post said the 7.8 rollout will run from today through the "coming weeks."
Windows Phone 7.8 is, in reality, known as update 7.10.8858.136 (as can be seen on the Windows Phone Update history page). According to the update page, this new release "is not available in all markets or for all phones."
Update: I'm hearing from Windows Phone 7.X users in other countries that the Windows Phone 7.8 update is rolling out to other vendors' handsets, including HTC, LG and Samsung. Not hearing (so far) about users on any U.S. carriers getting the update.