Microsoft has announced Windows Phone 8, but existing users won't get it. Instead current users will be upgraded to Windows Phone 7.8. Updated on 22/01/2013.

In light of this fact, you will no doubt have many a question you want answering about the next version of the mobile operating system. We've put together the following to try and answer your burning questions. See also: Windows Phone 8 launch: as it happened.

Nokia Lumia

Microsoft hasn't given a great deal of information about Windows Phone 7.8 so here's what we know so far. Of course, we will update you with any new information as and when we can. Feel free to post your comments and questions below. Visit Windows Phone 8 release date and specs.

What is Windows Phone 7.8?

Windows Phone 7.8 is the next version of Microsoft's smartphone OS.

Who will get Windows Phone 7.8?

This version of the OS has been created as an upgrade for existing Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango users.

What does Windows Phone 7.8 bring?

Microsoft has said that Windows Phone 7.8 will bring the new Start screen feature of Windows Phone 8 and additional theme colours.Lock screen features include the Bing picture of the day and the "‘A1B2C3’ PIN/password challenge to prevent accidental device wipes,"

Windows Phone 7.8 Start Screen

Nokia has said its Lumia handsets will get 'some of the new Windows Phone 8 features like the start screen' suggesting there will be other elements too.

Nokia also said that new apps like Words with Friends and Draw Something will be available in Autumn.

When will I get Windows Phone 7.8?

Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 7.8 will start rolling out in early 2013. See: Windows Phone 7.8 arriving early 2013.

Mobile operator O2 has announced on Twitter, prior to an official statement from Microsoft, that Windows Phone 7.8 will launch by the end of January 2013.

Will all Windows Phone 7 phones get version 7.8?

There is no guarantee that all existing Windows Phone handsets will be upgraded to version 7.8. Nokia has confirmed its Lumia devices with Windows Phone 7.5 will get the upgrade. Mark Squires, communications director at Nokia tweeted us the following:

HTC has also confirmed its handsets will be upgraded and we assume other vendors will follow suit and are in the process of finding out.

When will Windows Phone 8 launch?

Windows Phone 8 will launch on 29 October with smartphones running the OS due in November.

Will I also get Windows Phone 8?

In a word, no.

Why won't I get Windows Phone 8?

Microsoft's answer to this question is that "Windows Phone 8 is a generation shift in technology, which means that it will not run on existing hardware."

Will Windows Phone 7.8 run Windows Phone 8 apps?

Apart from Nokia confirming some apps will be available for Lumia devices the answer to this question isn’t fully clear yet.

As far as we are aware the apps for Windows Phone 8 won't automatically be available for Windows Phone 7.8 and below, since they are two different version of the operating system. However, it's possible that developers will choose to make their apps work on both.

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