Microsoft has proved rumourmongers wrong, announcing on its official blog that the Windows Phone 7.8 update will roll out in early 2013 - not this week.
The firm is working closely with hardware and network partners to test, approve, and distribute the update early next year, wrote Windows Phone corporate vice president Terry Myerson.
Windows Phone 7 users will not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8, but as a consolation prize, Microsoft will offer them a limited update to Windows Phone 7.8. The upgrade will provide users with a new start screen, as well as 10 new theme and accent colours, the Bing Picture of the Day lock screen feature, and new apps including Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars.
"New models running Windows Phone 7.8 are beginning to launch in many countries around the world," Myerson said, "strengthening the ecosystem by bringing more Windows Phones to more people." The devices, he added, will be sold at a lower price point, "meaning there will now be Windows Phones for everyone's budget and need."
Additionally, Microsoft has managed to expand its global service coverage by more than 30 per cent, creating more markets where customers can buy apps and use the connected Xbox service.