updated 03:31 pm EST, Tue January 22, 2013
New update adds no new functionality, integrates Live Tiles testing
Microsoft has released the latest version of the Windows Phone software developer's kit (SDK) update, adding two Windows Phone 7.8 emulator images to an existing installation. The update for the SDK allows developers to test how a Windows Phone 7.5 implementation of Live Tiles will operate when running on the as-yet unreleased operating system update.
The package contains a pair of images, suitable for both low and higher-end phones, with up to 512MB of RAM. No new APIs have been added to the Windows Phone 7.8 SDK. The developer blog points out that the update doesn't change the development target for Windows Phone 7.5 but "simply makes it easier to test how your apps appear on devices running Windows Phone 7.8."
Windows Phone updates for a number of Nokia handsets have appeared on the company's servers in the past. The upgrade from Windows Phone 7.5 to 7.8 for the Lumia 610, Lumia 710, and Lumia 900 were sighted on the server, complete with region-specific versions for each handset. Microsoft promises that the update process will happen some time this year.