It appears that the official release of Windows Phone 7.8 is just around the corner, as the OS has appeared on NaviFirm for the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 510, a post by shows.

Those brave enough and have the know how of updating their Windows Phone handset, or those who are not waiting for the official update to roll out next month, can flash their device and get the OS running on the handsets specified.

From this, we can gauge that Nokia is close to releasing an update. Late last month, Microsoft had provided a time frame on its official blog for the rollout of Windows Phone 7.8 to existing Windows 7 devices, by stating that it will be rolled out as soon as early 2013.

NaviFirm shows Lumia 800 update

NaviFirm shows Lumia 800 update

Microsoft revealed some of the new features that come with the update, but the highlight comes in the last paragraph of the post on the Windows Phone Blog. Terry Myerson, Corporate Vice President, Windows Phone, stated, “We know you’re eager to get the Windows Phone 7.8 update, and we want you to know that we’re working closely with our hardware and carrier partners to get it tested, approved, and rolled out to as many devices as possible in early 2013. As we work to quickly get this in the hands of our loyal users, we’re also striving to deliver a high-quality release and ensure a smooth transition for our widely expanded services.”

Myerson stated that Windows Phone 7.8 not only features the new Start screen, which is used on Windows Phone 8, but also brings in a new range of features. He said that when he used the WP 7.8 update on his Nokia Lumia 900, it felt like using a completely new phone. Myerson stated, “Resizable Live Tiles totally change the way I do things, providing faster access to more of my favorite people, photos, and apps.”

Windows Phone 7.8 comes with more themes as well as an increased number of accent colours, which is now 20 in all. The new operating system also features new lock screen features such as the option to automatically display the Bing Picture of the Day and the ‘A1B2C3’ PIN/ password challenge to prevent accidental device wipes on phones connected to Exchange accounts.

He had also mentioned that there are a number of new apps that are coming to Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows 7.8 users. Apps such as Words with Friends and Draw Something are already available, while Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars are on the way.

Myerson stated, “New models running Windows Phone 7.8 are beginning to launch in many countries around the world, strengthening the ecosystem by bringing more Windows Phones to more people. These devices will typically be sold at a range of lower price points, meaning there will now be Windows Phones for everyone’s budget and need. This is incredibly important for broadening the reach of Windows Phone across the globe and ensuring we have the right product for every market.”

The testing of the rollout of Windows Phone 7.8 is already underway and Microsoft has managed to increase its global service coverage by over 30 percent, extending it to 95 countries—a number that should continue to rise.

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