Windows Phone Gets an Update, But Will Current Owners Be Left in the Dust?

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June 21 2012 2:10 PM

Windows Phone Gets an Update, But Will Current Owners Be Left in the Dust?

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Windows Phone 8: Microsoft's handheld device is getting significant hardware and software updates.

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/GettyImages

Windows Phone 8—could it be a ringer among a crowded marketplace of smartphone options?

The same week Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet, the company is giving us a preview of software and hardware upgrades for the new Windows Phone 8. Along with dual and quad-core support, the updated phone will reportedly be easier to code for developers and feature both a new Wallet hub and better integration with video chat application Skype.

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One major change for the user will be in fundamental adjustments to the phone’s colorful start screen, with different sized live tiles. Along with allowing more functions on the start screen, the new design will let the user choose the sizes for different apps and functions.

Current Windows Phone owners might have reason to gripe—while they’ll get a software update on the yet-unannounced upgrade date, the hardware changes for the 8.0 model will be significant. But if you’re a smartphone newbie or a disgruntled Apple or Android user, door number three is looking preeeetty good.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.