Your Windows Phone won't get WP8, will get new home screen

If you own a Windows Phone, you won't get Windows Phone 8 but you will get version 7.8 with the new home screen.

If you own a Nokia Lumia 900 , Nokia Lumia 800 or any current Windows Phone, you won't get Windows Phone 8 -- but you will get the headline feature of the next generation software in a Windows Phone 7.8 update.

Phones running the current software, Windows Phone 7.5, will get an update to 7.8 including the new home screen , complete with live tiles you can resize.

Instead of the current two-column layout, you'll be able to make the colourful squares on your home screen bigger or smaller. You can have a live tile stretch across the width of the display, or have as many as four tiles in each row. Crucially, you can mix and match, with big squares for the important stuff and little tiles for the less important stuff.

Although Windows Phones are built by seveal manufacturers, Nokia's Lumia handsets are the leading lights, and Nokia has added assorted new features including new camera options and updates to the map and sat-nav apps.

Nokia gave the camera-phone a kick up the aperture with the feature-packed, 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView . Now advanced snap-happy features are coming to the Lumia range, including a new panorama option and a smart group shot that picks the best from several photos of a group.

Apps for getting around also receive new bits and bobs. The updated Nokia Transit app lets you pin a favourite location to your home screen, so one tap shows you when a bus or train is going to pull into the stop near your house. And Nokia Drive's new My Commute feature makes sat-nav useful even on familiar journeys, quickly giving you traffic information or alternative routes.

As nice as these features are, I'd be annoyed if I'd just forked out for a Lumia 900 and found out it's already a lame duck. Has Microsoft learned nothing from the saga of the botched Android Ice Cream Sandwich update, which frustrates phone fans beyond belief?

Windows Phone 8 isn't going public until autumn, so that's several months in which your Windows 7 phone will still be cutting-edge tech. But even knowing that it'll be obsolete soon really takes the shine off a phone. There are obviously excellent hardware reasons why current phones won't run WP8, but it's a serious PR own goal.

Is this a mistake by Microsoft? Have you recently bought a Windows Phone and do you feel let down? Or should we all learn to stop worrying about updates and love the phone we have in our hands right now? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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