Last week, announcing Windows Phone 8, Microsoft said that it will bring the new Start Screen of the WP8 to existing Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones through Windows Phone 7.8 update. Today, Ben Rudolph posted a video, demonstrating a Nokia Lumia 900 running an early build of Windows Phone 7.8.
The video shows, the new Start Screen; being able to resize tiles to S/M/L gives a whole new dimension - no pun intended - to personalization and customization.
Also, Microsoft published a new page on WindowsPhone.com that covers all of the stuff that's coming in WP7.8 - like the new start screen with resizable tiles, all of the 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.
Microsoft has also announced a new set of "Smoke by Windows Phone" ads that will run through the streets of Seattle, asking real smartphone users to complete common tasks like taking photos and posting them to Facebook, finding awesome places to eat, or connecting with someone on a social network.
Microsoft says, that over the last few months "Smoked by Windows Phone" has been a huge success--with over 25,000,000 views of the videos and digital ads and run more than 150,000 in-person challenges in 45 countries worldwide."
Take a look to see how things go down:
"You'll probably run into the new ads over the next few months all over the web, on MSNBC and MSN -- even on Skype or your Xbox -- but if you're impatient you can check all of them out right now on the Windows Phone Challenge YouTube playlist," posted Rudolph.
Microsoft just confirmed, unlike their decision last week to make their own Surface tablet, they won't be making their own smartphones.
A Microsoft official told InformationWeek that the company doesn't have any plans to make its own company-branded smartphones. Last week, some analysts said they believed Microsoft would introduce its own handset model.
Asked in an interview if Microsoft planned to apply that strategy to the smartphone market, Greg Sullivan, senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, said, "No, we do not."
Microsoft has revealed that hardware makers building Windows Phone 8 devices include HTC, Nokia, Samsung, and Huawei. "We have a strong ecosystem of partners that we are very satisfied with," Sullivan said Friday.
Sullivan's outright denial of plans to build a phone is significant in that Microsoft officials almost always issue a standard "no comment" when asked about industry rumors.