Windows Phone 7.8 is almost upon us, as was speculated yesterday. Set to be released on January 31st, the Windows Phone 7.8 update should eventually become available to all devices upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5, but it will be up to the manufacturer and carrier to make the final decision.
Microsoft has now updated the Windows Phone SDK to allow developers to build apps that support the updated home screen, with three live tile sizes, in Windows Phone 7.8. At this point it doesn’t look like there are any other changes available to developers — no improved APIs or hooks to improve existing apps — but the ability to show more information on an expansive live tile is a fairly significant upgrade on its own.
Microsoft also points out that new devices, such as the Nokia Lumia 510, are already shipping with Windows Phone 7.8 pre-installed, so existing Mango users need only be patient for a few more weeks. We’ve reached out to various carriers to see whether they will support the WP7.8 on their existing devices and will update you as soon as we know.