Whether you consider it an upgrade or simply a half-hearted attempt at one, Windows Phone 7.5 devices will be changing in the coming months as the arrival of Windows Phone 8 heralds a new era for Microsoft’s mobile OS. The biggest issue which arose from the news of WP8 was of course what will happen to older devices, especially after it transpired that WP8 won’t be supported by the current Windows Phone stock.
In an attempt to ease user’s pain, Microsoft will be bringing Windows Phone 7.8 to some current 7.5 devices, transferring the fundamental aesthetic difference from WP8 to current generation handsets.
The Metro UI which features on Windows Phone was, on the whole, commended for its fluidity, simplicity and speed, however especially on larger device such as the Lumia 900, the large panels almost feel like a waste of screen real-estate. As demonstrated in this video picked up by SoMobile, the switch up to Windows Phone 7.8 will provide a far more elegant use of the space without detracting from the feel of the Metro UI.
Although changing the icon sizes in and of itself is a handy feature, the varying levels of information able to be displayed at the varying sizes is a nice addition too.
For some users, WP7.8 will feel like a genuine upgrade, but for others, an enhanced start screen won’t make up for the fact that their devices will forever remain obsolete, in certain cases less than a year old. The Windows Phone Torch has now past to this year’s certified partners to make sure that the devices to succeed the current crop, feel like legitimate upgrades which will keep consumers happy on two-year contracts.