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Microsoft says Windows Phone 7.8 update coming in 'early 2013'

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Microsoft today announced that it will bring Windows Phone 7.8 to existing Windows Phone 7.5 users in early 2013. The new software will add the ability to resize Live Tiles, a standout feature of Windows Phone 8, while also implementing some new security enhancements for Exchange users. New theme colors will also be included in the update, which Microsoft says will roll out to "as many devices as possible" in early 2013. The official announcement follows an early leaked build of Windows Phone 7.8 for the HTC HD7 and news that the latest version would arrive on handsets in China in the "coming weeks."

Though it doesn't include all of the improvements packed into Windows Phone 8, version 7.8 will ensure that owners of previous Windows Phone hardware (i.e. the Lumia 900) — who were essentially cut off from future milestone updates — will be able to enjoy at least some new functionality.