After months of waiting, those who still own select Windows Phone 7.5 devices such as the Nokia Lumia and the Samsung Omnia W/Focus series will finally have their long-awaited Windows Phone 7.8 update delivered sooner rather than later, as the Colombian Windows Phone Facebook page has confirmed that Microsoft will begin the update roll out next Thursday, on January 31st.
The page also takes care to note that the roll out will not happen simultaneously to all devices and will be staggered throughout the first quarter across multiple carriers and manufacturers around the world, keeping inline with previous Windows Phone milestone update patterns.
Windows Phone 7.8 will be the last major update for Windows Phone 7 as Microsoft shifts its attention to WP8 in terms of developer support and hardware. With Windows Phone 7 being relegated to Microsoft’s long string of half-complete products obsoleted by internal decisions on planning and development, despite continually struggling in the mobile arena since the debut of Windows Phone as its latest mobile platform in late 2010.
While Windows Phone 8 shows signs of success, with Nokia reporting stronger than expected 4Q and holiday sales for its Windows Phone 8 powered Lumia smartphone line, the platform as a whole still struggles to compete against the current industry leaders in iOS and Android both in terms of marketing and developer support.
As many Windows Phone 7.5 owners abandoned the platform completely due to Microsoft’s decision to move to Windows Phone 8 without updating previous devices, the few signs of success shown by Windows Phone 8 point to the defections making little difference in the short-term, though the long-term impact has yet to be felt.
An official list of devices and manufacturers slated to receive the update has yet to be released by Microsoft, though its expected Samsung and Nokia are still expected to update their respective WP7 devices as previously promised. For its part Microsoft still refuses to directly comment on Windows Mobile 7.8 and has never officially addressed the delays in the roll out of the update, which was previously expected last year to coincide with the release of Windows Phone 8 as a consolation update, only to be delayed until now.