For those Windows Phone users who can't or won't be upgrading their smartphone to WP8 yet, there is Windows Phone 7.8. It acts as both an upgrade to Mango and an olive branch to users who would like some of the Windows Phone 8 action.
Starting With A Bang
Having announced Windows Phone 7.8 alongside its bigger brother, 8.0, last week, we're now starting to see it in action. The new Windows Phone home screen that will appear in both Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0 is a more flexible beast than its predecessors, with brighter colours, flexible and resizeable live tile sizes. This quick video from the Windows Phone Channel shows it in action.
Resizing the apps isn't just cosmetic but adds more information, and lets users keep what's important more up-front and accessible. The video is running on a Nokia Lumia 900 and hopefully should be just one of the new features in Windows Phone 7.8.
What's the Codename?
The one thing Windows Phone 7.8 doesn't have yet is a great code name, Mango and Apollo (WP8), are pretty neat, so WP7.8 deserves a decent subtitle too. With a launch for WP7.8 rumored to be just weeks away, hopefully we'll hear more about other features soon.
Windows Phone 8 will come in a range of low-, mid- and high-end devices, so it might be possible for those stuck in a WP7 contract to upgrade. Or, Microsoft could encourage users and phone shops with an early upgrade program. Optimistic perhaps, but Windows Phone 8 will need a major start and those users are the ones it should be targeting.