Since it was announced that there was no upgrade path from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8, and that Windows phone 7.8 would be the last major update that the platform would get, the rumours, and lack of information surrounding it have left a lot to speculation.
It took a long time for Microsoft to end that speculation, but in the meantime it was finally made RTM, and a few devices have turned up in the wild running the OS. Of course once it was in the wild, it was inevitable that it would make it’s way to some cagey, capable developers, and users like me would be able to give it a try on first gen WP7 devices.
I’ve got an old broken HD7 that’s been sitting around gathering dust, so I thought it was time to give this a try, I haven’t flashed a rom for ages, and the process hasn’t changed that much, you just have to unlock the phone first, and luckily there are tools for that. The thing is it is hard to find the Rom in a pure form, this rom has Nokia and custom apps included, and while they are nice it confuses the issue.
Other than the new Start screen and different Live Tile sizes, there is not a lot to see, you can have Bing wallpapers on the lock screen, there is not a real lot of difference. WP7.8 runs fairly smoothly on the HD7, and being a custom rom, it has to be said that there is no assurance that it is as optimised as it could be. Take out all the odds and sods, ad get the version optimised for your device by your OEM, and the smoothness of a custom rom like this on a broken device still bodes well for WP7 users waiting for the update.