Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 smartphone OS is expected to launch in October, but customers who already have existing Windows Phone 7 (or 7.5) smartphones were sorely disappointed when it was announced that there will be no upgrade to the new OS.
Instead, a smaller Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade will be offered to select handsets, with a selection of Windows Phone 8’s features coming to smartphones.
Exactly what early Windows Phone adopters would get has been under wraps until today, where a leaked document has revealed which features the new upgrade will be bringing to existing phones.
If you have a Windows Phone eligible for the upgrade (currently only the Nokia Lumia range has confirmed its upgrade to 7.8), you will get the less feature-packed 7.8 update.
Firstly, there will be a Windows 8-style homescreen upgrade with the new tiles system, where you can have multiple sized resizeable tiles on your homescreen. This allows you to fit more in to your homescreen and to personalise it how you like, with app shortcuts and live tiles.
The leaked document is from Finnish manufacturer Nokia, who is currently locked in a love affair with Windows Phone, but this means that the details in the upgrade could be more specifically towards their phones than other manufacturers.
In addition to the homescreen change, the 7.8 update will include an improved camera application with new features such as smart group shot, action, panorama, and self-timer options. Wi-Fi tethering will also make its first appearance on a Windows Phone OS, which will allow you to share your phone’s 3G signal with other devices, such as tablets and laptops.
You will also have some of the smart features such as flipping the phone over to silence an incoming call, message tone or alarm.
Features that are missing include NFC Capabilities – an obvious one, as the current crop of Windows Phones don’t have NFC chips – Internet Explorer 10 inclusion, Multitasking, OTA updates, and multi-core processor support, which again can’t be expected due to the hardware used in the first generation of phones.
We will find out more as the official release date comes around for Windows Phone 8.