winphone78

When Microsoft announced its Windows Phone 7.8 update for existing customers—required because it will not support upgrading those devices to Windows Phone 8—the company probably thought it was doing the right thing. Unfortunately, some people are still confused about what exactly this update will bring to existing devices, and whether there might be more than just the new Start screen.

Based on a pre-briefing with Microsoft last week, I wrote Windows Phone 7.8 Preview, which details exactly what’s included in Windows Phone 7.8, at least according to Microsoft. But some users are still insisting—via email, Twitter, and other channels--that Microsoft’s language during the Windows Phone Summit last week suggests that there’s more to come.

I didn’t record the pre-Summit briefing, which is a shame, though there were about 20 bloggers in the room with me at the time. But the Summit keynote address is available for viewing, and if you fast forward to 1:43:38 into the video, you can see what Microsoft actually did say publicly about this coming update.

“We care very deeply for our Windows Phone 7.5 customers, Microsoft corporate vice president Terry Myerson says during the presentation. “And because of this, I’m happy to share today that we are creating an update for Windows Phone 7.5 customers that brings to them what we believe is the marquee feature of Windows Phone 8: the new Start experience.”

He says feature, not features, of course. But the confusing bit comes in the next sentence, assuming you’re willing to take the first part out of context.

“And this is not all that Windows Phone 7.5 customers will get,” he continues. “To talk about their ongoing commitment to Windows Phone 7.5 customers, I’d like to invite up on stage Kevin Shields, the senior vice president of Nokia.”

Shields then goes on to discuss the many new and improved apps that Nokia will provide to Windows Phone 7.5-based Lumia handset owners. The message here is clear: While Microsoft is providing just the Windows Phone 7.8 features I discuss in Windows Phone 7.8 Preview, Nokia is further supporting the platform—at least for Lumia customers—with other new and improved apps.

Could Microsoft be planning more for Windows Phone 7.8? Perhaps. But there’s nothing in that video to suggest that’s the case.

Microsoft?