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Yesterday I snuck over to the engineering building and “borrowed” a Nokia Lumia 900 running a VERY early build of Windows Phone 7.8, so I could shoot a video of the amazing new Start Screen. It’s pretty awesome; being able to resize tiles to S/M/L gives a whole new dimension – no pun intended – to personalization and customization. Take a look:
For me, the small-sized tile that made me contentedly sigh “finally…” is my Phone Tile. I don’t do that much talking on my phone and use it pretty much entirely for email, text, web, games and everything else, so it was a big relief to miniaturize it and get it out of the way. On the other hand, I’m pretty jacked to make things like email, messaging and music nice and big so I can see more of what’s going on at a glance.
Also wanted to give you a heads up that we just set up a new page on WindowsPhone.com that covers all of the awesome stuff that’s coming in 7.8 – like the new start screen with resizable tiles, all of the killer new apps that are coming to Nokia Lumias, as well as a roundup of all the other app news, like the arrival of Audible, and the so-close-you-can-taste it launches of Words with Friends and Draw Something. Check it out!
Don’t forget to follow Windows Phone on Twitter and like us on Facebook. And remember to follow me on Twitter to ask questions or just say hi.
Its nice for old Windows Phone 7 Mango users to could upgrade to something like this :)
Well, we didn't get a upgrade to WP8, buy we did get more than most Android devices get in less than 12 months. Im just wondering if I will have to wait for WP8 to get a fix for my disappearing keyboard. I do see some carriers offering the Tango update, but with being on att It looks like I'll have to wait until September at best.... That is if att doesn't block the 7.8 update as well.. Lol! Haha..
The new website basically just says here are the features if you have a Lumia. What about the Samsung customers? My Focus S hasn't received one update, and no new developing apps from Samsung at all. Such a bummer because the Focus was a big hit.
The only questions I have, right now, is do we still swipe to the left to see the app menu? Is the app menu revised? And, is there a right swipe to maybe a notifications screen? Come on guys, I know this isn't all you guys have in store for us 7.5 users.
I still think we should have "Feature Fridays" where a new WP7.8/8.0 feature is revealed every Friday afternoon until launch. Just a peek,,, please? This is killing me. Lol.
Could you please show us the app list? Is it the same as in WP 7.5 or do you have any surprise for us? :)
@ Cody N.
Yes, the treatment of Samsung Focus owners of all types has been ruthlessly pathetic. Especially considering that many of us are early supporters of the platform. We have showed off our phones to thousands, flaunted WP t-shirts, backed up WP in online discussions, converted users to WP, yet all we here is how lumia users get to have all the "fun". I wish Lumia devices were available at launch,, then I wouldn't be complaining.
You got to be a complete fool to buy anything other than a NLWP8.0 device in the future. Im not taking any chances come next May... I hate to admit it, but Im kind of excited to see if N. makes a quadcore 8.0 device. I want to finally smoke my buddies Razr. Ha!
He smoked me. Lol... I guess putting a first Gen WP device up against a awesome, thoroughly modern Superphone like the Razr.. well, I was asking for it... Even my hardcore Android packing buddie said that if MS keeps up the innovation he might have to give WP a try. He's really impressed with the Smartglass tech... He's just glad It's going to be available for multiple platforms... See, now he's got no tangible incentive to switch,, in his eyes at least. Oh well. hopefully his ICS update, which they refuse to release, will suck.. And the custom rom he plans to load isn't all cookies and cake, get it? Cookies and cake, like the way they name Android updates?? Lol... Anyways, we'll just have to wait and see...
Yes, I'm a nerd!
"I still think we should have "Feature Fridays" where a new WP7.8/8.0 feature is revealed every Friday afternoon until launch. Just a peek,,, please? This is killing me. Lol."
With the announcement of enthusiest access to early builds of Windows Phone 8 (after launch I would assume), this would be awesome! But I fully expect more "consumer" features to be announced over the next few months.
this is a joke right? What does that mean to us if we cant get the apps???
Make windows phone 7.8 running windows phone 8 apps...
Look who's first with less then 5 days?
Thanks for the video. I'm interested in hearing more..
The start screen is interesting, but I'm more interested in seeing if applications for WP7 will continue to be released once WP8 is out. It would also be nice to have support for bluetooth keyboards in 7.8 (unlikely as that is)
It's too bad Microsoft has decided not to port the drivers from existing phones to WP8. It would be interesting to hear a technical reason why it is not possible to support current devices in WP8. If you could give more detail than "generation shift", it would be very useful.
The new start screen IS drop-dead gorgeous indeed and sorry to be the black sheep but you guys shouldn't had called it Windows Phone 7.8; I'll quote some else who said right:
"From a PR perspective, it would have been better to call this update a windows phone 8 update instead of 7.8. Why? People won't say you're fragmenting, or leaving people behind. Apple knows this and does this often, which is why the 3GS, although many features are missing, is getting iOS 6.0. Just my personal opinion, nobody needs to agree."
Hope this can be read by someone from the WP team :-)
The new start screen looks great and for my old Samsung Focus, that I use for a music player and WiFi powered app machine, it will be awesome.
For my Lumia that I've had for less than a month, however, I'm dissappointed. I was under the impression that "the beta test was over" and that doesn't seem to be true. In just a few short months, it appears that the RTM, post beta really required a kernal upgrade AND new hardware. I hope that there are some lightbulb moments before these release. I don't see how the non NFC features of wallet are 'hardware dependent'. I also think they could open up access to the camera for developers.
I don't think many of us can afford to pay retail for a phone AND get a Surface tablet at the same time. HEY...you could offer a phone trade-up w/ Surface purchase; I for one, would be there Day #1! You'd have a stable of newer phones that you could refurbish and sell as refurbs directly so people can buy them and not extend contracts with the carriers. You'd have an excited bunch of early adopters and you'd have an incentive for people to rush out and get Surface right away at launch. It could help the footprint swell right away. Think about it! :)
Lumia Lumia Lumia Lumia Lumia Lumia Lumia. I have a Samsung Focus S (probably last Samsung thing I will ever own due to lack of service/support after the sale. But in the meantime....). Where's my love Microsoft???
There's more to 7.8 than just the start screen??
Will we get the 7.8 upgrade long before the WP8 release? That would be a nice consulation prize.
Wonder if can I expect to be able to update my Lumia 710, which I have upgraded to 8773.12120 by Nokia Care Suite or have I to roll-back to factory revision.
if microsoft Let Die to existing customers ... I think it would be a close
I want to have a LOT more color options for my tiles/theme. In particular, I want darker/bolder color choices. A maroon or navy blue would be fantastic... as would a dark gray option.
Just stupid. Atleast in android they have an option to go custom rom way. Just sad. No consumer feature anonunced.
Let's vote to get more features on wp7.8 : windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../2945071-bring-new-features-of-wp8-that-can-be-supported-by
Thanks for the heads-up!, the truth is that the new start screen looks fantastic, HOWEVER, the loyal legion of WP users are waiting for news in regards what other features will be included with WP 7.8
We would appreciate a bit more of information in regards this build 7.8, I trust more features will be included, those that are not hardware dependant. Regards and thanks for the great job you'd done promoting the platform!
Hello, I own a HTC Radar, bought in January 2012 with a contract for 2 years. I payed 200 euros for it. Can you please tell me what I will get from WP 7.8 aside from the new start screen which by the way does not interest me at all? There are a lot of good suggestions on the UserVoive forum. Will I see any of those implemented in WP7.8?
Cool new start screen, will make customizing my phone nicer. Waiting patiently for what else 7.8 gets other than the start screen. Also just want to point out to others that there is no way developers are going to forget about the larger installed base of WP7.x users in the short term. We are still going to get apps released for our phones, it's not the marketplace us going to dry up overnight. Of course I plan avoiding that problem by picking up a new Nokia Lumia to replace my L800.
MS should think about providing a trade in program for 2nd generation users. This should keep a lof of users happy. Personally not too fussed about the update but do feel for Lumia owners - I hope they don't abandon ship and jump on ios or android.
Fanboy/developer, 1st Gen/2nd Gen owner.
I'm gonna buy a windows phone 8 anyway...
But I still think that ONLY getting a new interface is bullshit and a complete spit on the face for people who bought lumia phones...
(Im glad I kept my 1st gen device)
The new start screen is great, but .. surely there must have been other features you could have brought to existing users handsets? You're bringing us ONE new feature in WP7.8 - the fact that we're also getting apps, -and if you're a Nokia Lumia user, some more apps- hardly counts given we'd have gotten those anyway.
What this is, is a cosmetic upgrade, nothing more - it's a facelift designed to throw a bone to current users, and it's an upgrade that will be the /last/ upgrade existing users can expect to see. For those users in the US that /just/ bought a Lumia 900 ... it's a kick in the pants. When you buy an iPhone you can typically look forward to at /least/ two major upgrades durign the lifetime you have the product, and whilst those who point out that even Apple don't bring /all/ the features to you that new handset buyers would get, they at least give you more than one small little cosmetic upgrade.
In short, this really is a fairly poor upgrade. I've promoted Windows Phone, shown it off to my friends - now I really can't say whether or not I want to stick with this product when it comes to upgrade time.
I fear that there are no other features. Why should Microsoft wait to announce features for an abandoned system? It doesn't make sense to wait, so the message is: That's all.
Oh!, stuff the new Start screen. I want to know what else is improving in WP7.8 for us all non-lumia early adopters. Samsung are the worst for post-sales support. They havent released and good OEM apps for older phones. They even restricted the DLNA app for older gen devices even though the hardware supports it. Never again a Samsung phone..
The Audible url should be (but currently isn't):
@Rodney a question, why does there need to be a new notifications pane when all they really need to do is extend the scope of the notifications area in the Me Hub, this could also have apis for developers to utilise. I dont think it would be difficult to bring that and the VOIP and mapping background stuff to 7.8 but it's not likely it will ever happen.
Hopefully WP7.8 is not only exklusive for Lumia devices. Please provide the update for all devices including GEN1/GEN2. Would be a good customer support.
I agree with you that the start screen is probably the only new major new feature. I understand people are saying that there are more features that can't be announced because this would obviously reveal the same feature in WP8 (since it's assumed that a feature wouldn't be added to 7.8 and not 8) but MS's actions thus far seem contrary to this.
First, there already have been many major features of WP8 announced that haven't been mentioned in WP7.8. Stuff like background VOIP and GPS. So right off the bat WP7.8 will likely never get proper Skype, if it was why wouldn't they announce this since it has already been announced for WP8?
Secondly, when MS is responding to the complaints (like this blog post is doing) why would they be so careful to never mention that there will be more 7.8 features announced? If there were more planned features wouldn't Ben say something like "and there are even more cool new features in WP7.8 that will be announced as we get closer to launch". MS is in full damage control mode now, trying to salvage whatever sales they can of the Lumia 900. Coming out and saying 'and there will be more features" would at least give the most diehard evangelists a shred of hope which they could use to try and recommend the Lumia (similar to how these people used Microsoft's intentional silence during the Lumia 900 launch to claim the idea of the 900 not getting WP8 was preposterous).
Not trying to troll, but this is precisely why I've stuck with Android for 3 phones and 2 tablets. As a VZW rep, I've only ever sold 1 WP, and that was to my mother despite my protests! I never sold them, not because.of low commission, but because of low feature sets and a stale ecosystem. WP is years behind Android, and even low end Androids offer benefits WP's can't (won't?) yet support. I hope that changes, but I don't see it happening soon.
Anyway, back to flying and flashing on Galaxy Nexus running GummyNex 1.2.2.
To all you guys asking and begging for info on what other (if any) new features WP7.8 will include: Don't you like surprises? I love WindowsPhone, and would not trade it for anything else, but I really think that MS do right by keeping the cards closer to their chest than two years ago. I don't know about you, but I would rather wait in "ignorance", and be blown away by a display of unforseen features, than to be told everything now, and then have to wait another half-year to experience it for my self.. :-)
Even if you like surprises, wouldn't you at least like to hear "and there are more WP7.8 features will be announcing soon". As of right now, MS reps seem pretty careful to avoid saying that.
I have few questions:
1. Would you guys let the WP 7.8 apps to consume C/C++? I am interested in offline OCR lib which is not available in SL for WP.
2. Would we be able to connect to printer over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in WP7.8 or 8? Printing office docs wirelessly from WP SkyDrive and OfficeHub and an new PDF app with printing option.
3. Can we now share documents, multimedia, pictures and stuff over Bluetooth in 7.8 and/or 8?
4. Will you let the developers use Bluetooth profiles, so when they may be able to share content over WiFi?
5. Do you have any plans to implement; copy, paste and cursor in the dialler: http://bit.ly/LyU3G9 and the phone number format/decorators http://bit.ly/Nwj3sE?
Please let me know if its gonna happen in this coming update..
How will the update be rolled out for Mango users? I've read that it will be done OTA? Is that true?
Dell Venue Pro user here.
...I can understand the need of secrecy Microsoft might need for the time being for WP8/7.8 but it would take a lot of steam out of the discussions in all major blogs and forums if Microsoft would say:
- WP7.8 update is Nokia Lumia only
- WP7.8 will come to all WP7 "legacy" devices
- WP7.8 will have the new home screen and further "Nokia only" specific features
- WP7.8 will have the new home screen and addtional features for all "legacy" devices
This would not reveal too much but would calm down the discussions and prevent people from considering to change to Apple or Android... The way it is handled now, it severely hurts Microsoft, Nokia and the other OEM's.
Even if the new is not so good for "legacy" owners, they would at least know where they stand....
The most important question to me at the moment is, will current WP7.5 users be able to opt to keep the original Start screen yet still receive other firmware updates and bug fixes (assuming any are ever released from this point on)?
Yes, it's nice for Windows Phone 7 Mango users to could upgrade. But now the startscreen looks like a garbage dump.
Metro need to breathe!!
Micorsoft, please change the Startscreen!!
I am joining the "Lets Wait till they give more Info" group. Since real "software only" consumer feature announced so far for WP8 is new start screen, which is assured to be part of WP7.8. My only concern is if the new features set of WP7.8 is greatly stripped down compared to WP8. It makes sense from a business perspective, but not for an user who bought a shiny new device a week before.
Look at iPhone users, an user buying iPhone4S today may not have any idea on what kind of new hardware features will be part of iPnone5 when it comes out (or when it will come out). But he is assured that all iOS7.0 features will be supported on iPhone4S when new iOS comes out. All Microsoft need to give its user-base is that assurance. "We will support all the new features from WP8, that your legacy devices can support"
I've got a launch-era Focus, so I'll probably be replacing my phone when the WP8 phones launch, but I think anyone with a gen 2 phone would really like to know more about what's coming in WP 7.8 beyond the new start screen. I mean, it's nice and all but doesn't really let your phone do anything it couldn't before.
I've pretty much summarized my thoughts in an open letter to Joe Belfiore, I posted on my blog. Too big to copy here, if interested, please see: http://www.karios.gr/?p=707
Whatever it is, you folks lost the Trust from lot of WP/MS loyalists by selling Lumia 900 as The Device, and in fact saying WP 7 is the OS for Mobile and throwing it under the bus in just 2 yrs and going with WP8.
Who knows you won't do this if Metro UI is a gigantic failure like Me/Vista and say WP 9 is the Mobile OS from MS and throw WP 8 under the bus. Hats off for making us believe WP 7 is the real OS though you folks know it's not 2 yrs back itself when it was launched. I'm moving away from MS on Mobile products, I'll just stick with PCs till PCs are around.
For the poor member of your ecosystem and people stuck with plans, at least what Microsoft can do is equip WP7.8 with ever upgradeable IE 10. Don't left WP7 orphaned like XP when its about Internet Explorer. I can even run Chrome 21 nightly release on XP, why can't we use IE10 (even on Vista)? It happened once with XP and everyone was annoyed by the decision. Please don't make the same mistake again in Windows and Windows Phones. Better IE is the least we expect from Microsoft. (Screw Apple if they do it with Safari in their faggy OS: "Safari 5.1.2 cant run on 10.1.x and less".. And be Microsoft, id est; user friendly!)
Yeah Great! I wonder when would you guys realize that there is also a whole big world "outside" the US? All the information is available on the Internet. Use Bing to parse yellow-pages, restaurants contact pages, Pizza Hut's worldwide page, etcetera.
Oh, but again, outside the US, half of the Bing's services are gone and the search results are as naive as Ask.com. So much so, we are not even getting the new Bing design! When I contacted Bing team about the new design, they said "These things take time" or "We are planning on that"....... So we are left with two options: change the preference to United States or use Google which serve its users "indiscriminately".
Launch "Bing intelligent cyber-agent" for each country and privilege them to work with Bing crawler to sniff the info pertaining to localscout. Populate your repository swiftly and win the contest against Google !
Did I say "Think WorldWide"? Do that Microsoft!
Wow a new start screen. Pity we can't start any of the apps that are going to be developed for Windows 8. If I'd bought an Android phone I'd still be able to run most of the apps developed in the future even if it was not updated. MS has now abandoned customers with a legacy device that they just bought.
This new Start screen is the 1974 Mustang II of mobile OS design.
@Rodney, no, you won't have to wait for WP8. It looks like, though, that AT&T is passing on deploying Tango in favor of the 7.8 update, which will have the accumulation of all previous updates. I'm convinced that 7.8 will be the final across-the-board update for first and second gen devices. Any other updates will be coming from OEMs....which is why I am very happy with the Lumia. Nokia has put all other OEMs to shame, making them all putrid little examples of corporate stupidity and laziness. If Nokia makes it through the next several months as we transition to this BRAND NEW OPERATING SYSTEM (I'm sorry, there's just no other way to describe the difference between WP7 and WP8), then I think I will be a Nokia loyalist from here on out. There is simply no OEM worth the plastic they build their devices out of---on ANY platform.
Now, having said all that....I really hate the new start screen. It's....ugly. WP8 makes it no more attractive than iOS or Android and it just looks congested and cluttered. I'm sorry. It's ugly. I've watched the videos and the cosmetic changes to the start screen bring no actual value to it and, in my opinion, detract from how beautiful it is on WP7. Let me say this another way: THERE IS VALUE TO WHITE SPACE. Those who understand the concept of "white space" know what I'm talking about. Everything else about WP8 I really like. But the start screen? Fail. Seriously, fail.
Hey MS guys come on - the home screen is the only news for the 7.8 update? I hoped if I buy the Lumia 710 that I can fetch WP8 on my phone. In this step MS has failed. Look at Apple - on my Apple device I receive 3 major updates and all the minor updates, from 3.1 to 5.1.1. I'm very angry about that step from MS for the WP7 customers.
@Thosten, WP8 is a completely new OS. iOS hasn't seen any dramatic change since its creation. Apple owns the hardware, cradle to grave. Microsoft doesn't. You folks really need to get your heads around this. WinCE isn't WinRT. Completely new core. Accept it, folks, WP8 is a Windows Phone Reboot, done to bring it--literally--into the same family as the tablet and desktop.
...now that Apple showed whats in iOS6 and Google showed what they had in store with "Jelly-Beans" it is time for Microsoft to tell us customers what new features we can expect with WP7.8 and WP8. All those speculations, rumors from peoples not too friendly with Windows Phone and petitions are damaging and hurting the image of Microsoft and its allies badly. Some solid informtion and clarifications are more than overdue...
Where is Tango or the 8107 update? AT&T said it was going to be the first two weeks of July and yet it's only two days from July. Why can't we get the 8107 update within six months of its release?
oops.. the AT&T release was supposed to be the first two weeks of June, not July.
I wish Windows would create a draft folder for the text messages... I use texting constantly several times a day and being able to create a couple text messages and save to a draft folder to send later would be extremely helpful to me... am considering changing phones so I can get the feature... It was on my old phone and this is one feature I miss alot.. I used it several times a day every day... not I have to create the text messages and send immediately... would love to be able to do this with this Nokia Lumia 900.
@turtlebreath...where did you see AT&T announce that either of those updates was coming? At this point I'll bet you that they are waiting until 7.8 and roll it all together.
Well, @PunjabSis, I guess you WILL have to change to a different operating system to do that. I'm trying to think of a reason why I'd have "draft text messages". The point of texting, to me, has been the ability to immediately pop something out....not sit on it. If I want to do that, I use email. However, whatever floats your boat.
@ScubaDog I talked with the executive response team at AT&T a month or two ago and they said the CR3 / Tango update was going to be delivered in June. They didn't give me an exact date of the release, however, so there's still one day left for it to happen. It's probably not surprising the schedule has slipped, but hopefully it will happen soon.
FWIW, my wife's focus S got tango a few days ago. She got the "you have an upgrade" message on her phone w/o plugging it in.
My Focus 1 is still waiting.
I don't know what's with all the negativities. I'm just glad that as a first gen WP7 user we can get the new homescreen and other new features, and by the time flagship WP8 comes out it's time to upgrade my phone anyway. I do feel for the mango phone users, but really it ain't all that bad. The new homescreen is probably the core of WP8 anyway
how are the words 'grouping' and 'organization' not mentioned in this video? and why do you showcase the resizing of a tile that shows the same information regardless of its size?
I still don't get it.
How can the new "medium tiles" fill the screen and still be two across? They can't be the same size.
So what happens to all those "live tile" apps we built that knew how big the tile was? How are they going to port?
See our app "Terminator" for example for live Sunrise/Sunset tiles.
Just to be clear is the "amazing" part that there is more than one color or that there is more than one size of icon? Or is it "amazing" that Microsoft is still trying to compete with Android & iOS? Amazing.
For lack of a better way to phrase it, I'll just say that there is a lack of "font continuity." For those of us who pay attention to details, I'd like to know why are messages sent from a Windows Phone appearing in Segoe on the device but received in Calibri in Outlook?
"WP8 is a completely new OS. iOS hasn't seen any dramatic change since its creation. Apple owns the hardware, cradle to grave. Microsoft doesn't. You folks really need to get your heads around this. WinCE isn't WinRT. Completely new core. Accept it, folks, WP8 is a Windows Phone Reboot, done to bring it--literally--into the same family as the tablet and desktop."
Windows Phone 8 ≠ Windows 8 RT
@theNewDanger - Thanks for that link.
Honestly, Scuba, I expected better from you. You, of all people, should know WP8 is NOT an all new OS, and even IF it were a version of Windows 8 RT, it would STILL be able to run on the second gen devices, especially the Lumia 800 and 900.
You're just grasping at straws to try to come to terms with the fact that Microsoft took your money and played you (and me, and every other early adopter, and every new supporter) for a fool.
I think this is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read on this subject. You have made your points interesting, unique and I agree with most.
I am glad I found your article today.http://www.friv4mini.com/
Couple of things that would be awesome if it could be included in the new UI. The ability to merge multiple tiles together to create custom tiles that will allow developers to create widgets within them (merge 2/3/4 small tiles or 2 medium tiles horizontally or vertilcally) allowing for news or social networking feeds without opening app. Allow opaque or clear tiles with color icons to permit customer user defined backgrounds (user taken photos, animated backgrounds, etc). Option to have smooth or snap scroll feature on start page. Option to create custom tile thems (customer color or use a picture of your choice for any tile). Option to use Landscape start screen orientation (put the feature in, but allow user to define on or off). Choice is king! If you build it, they will come!
I wonder if with the update to 7.8 there will be the chance to block incoming calls or blacklist contacts. It's something
quite desperating and there is no excuse to be missing that option (that exist in other WP's). Thanks.
welcome to myblog
go go go
When will Windows 8 for the PC/Tablet come out with this reduced tiles? I would love to have most of the tiles in the S category, while some often used items M. Rarely would I use the L category. Waiting for the Update that enables this feature!
It is November 7th and still no update... when will they update the windows phone 7.5?