Microsoft's vice president for the Greater China region has revealed that the company's Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade will begin rolling out in the country in the "coming weeks," backing up a previous promise to release the software before the end of the year. Speaking to Chinese newspaper BJD, the executive also confirmed that Windows Phone 8 handsets will go on sale in the country next month.

First announced back in June, Windows Phone 7.8 is seen as a compromise between versions 7.5 and 8, providing a revamped start screen with fully resizable tiles. It will be available as an upgrade for older handsets such as Nokia's Lumia 900, as well as powering new low-end devices, and is expected to roll out to the rest of the world following its China launch.