Rating: Stealth release of the upgrade from W7 Mango
Here at GoMobile News we have been awaiting the upgrade to Windows Phone 7.8 (which replaces W7 Mango) with bated breath. Virtually every day since early January  we have been going to the ’phone update’ page within the handset hoping to see that the upgrade had finally been released. The screen kept saying “No updates found” – even though we had ticked the box which says, “Use my mobile data connection to check for updates.” Then on Friday [February 1st 2013] we needed to use Zune on a PC to check for a particular music track. Imagine our surprise when the screen suddenly asked if we wanted to upgrade. Windows Phone 7.8 (WP7.8) was suddenly there!
We haven’t had much time to explore what WP7.8 offers over W7 Mango, but one very strange difference seems to be an attempt to support extra browsers over and above Internet Explorer (IE) that the Nokia now offers.
For those who still are not able to find the WP7.8 upgrade for the original Nokia Lumia range which should point out that our handset is connected to the Orange/EE network in the UK and maybe your operator isn’t ready yet.
As long ago as November , GoMobile News wrote that the introduction of Windows Phone 7.8 was imminent (see our previous story here.
Nothing happened, then rumours started to circulate that a WP7.8 ROM was out in the wild for hackers.
So why did the upgrade get triggered by Zune? Well, if you read the last sentence on the Phone Update page it says, “Also check … when your phone’s connected to your computer.”
Luckily if you fire up Zune on your desktop, it automatically checks for the latest software updates which is why if found (the fairly lengthy process timewise) of updating to WP7.8.
Now to those browsers. Our Nokia/Orange suddenly acquired what appeared to be a new menu option entitled simply ‘Browsers’.
We wonder whether this is some kind of attempt by Microsoft to appear to be giving a choice of browsers to users.
When we select ‘Browsers’ an icon appears momentarily showing icons for eight other browsers beside IE (see pic).
These are: TheWorld, Opera, Safari, Firefox, Netscape, Tencent Traveler, Maxthon and Google Chrome.
After a few seconds, the app then displays the latest news items about IE, Opera, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
We’ve no idea who built this app. It merely says to contact MSP-AOU@hotmail.com. Weird. Even weirder is another option entitled ‘Web browser’
If you fire this app up there is no menu whatsovever. You just type in a URL and go.
Now somebody might just have planted these apps on GoMobile News. We’d love to hear from any readers who have experienced the same thing!