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Microsoft announces the new Start Screen for Windows Phone 8 (Updated with Video)

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen

Microsoft today showed off the new Start screen for Windows Phone 8. The new Start screen in Windows Phone 8 has three new elements, including

  • Variable tile sizes, including user customizable selection between small, medium and so-called “double wide” tiles
  • Removal of the “gutter” aka “the gap” known as the off-centered space to the right of the Start screen. The gutter was a carry-over from the Zune days but now Tiles will be evenly distributed on the Start screen
  • New tile colors – yes, while the 10 + 1 model of Accent colors for Windows Phone carried us for nearly two years, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8 will offer a wider selection of colors

The Windows Phone 8 new Start screen offers a more personal experience by being more customizable, giving users greater choice and control. Whle it doesn't match Windows 8 desktop exactly, it's fairly close and should please many users.  

Hit the break for more pics and a video highlighting the new start screen.


Windows Phone 8 Start Screen

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen

Windows Phone 8 Start Screen



There are 246 comments. Sign in to comment

jdep1 says:

Any word if we are gonna have more color options for the background?

Blackwood504 says:

Yea, he said more color options.

Hiiiiiiiii says:

Daniel Rubino,

Remember when I said you haven't seen a real WP8 start menu and that you told me that I was the one WHO DID NOT? :)


Sorry dude, I actually said this over a week ago on Reddit.

Tiles are stil uniform in color and there is no background colors like Win 8. I stand by my statement.

And trust me, I've seen way more than you have as I have all the developer docs for WP8 ;-)

Hiiiiiiiii says:

Hmm, I guess our perceptions differ :)

PhilR8 says:

Didn't Joe mention that colors could be changed?

sepatown says:

Yes he did say the tiles color could be changed, not sure about the backgroud though..

Sumit8 says:

uhhh you're so cool

deznice says:

Is it wp8 upgradeable! please yes!

UltimateKGB says:

Want these on current phones

Dark_Halmut says:

You'll get it in WinPhone 7.8.

MastrMeatWad says:

I LOVE IT!  Perfect.  I like the options and tile size as well as the removal of the 'gutter'

deznice says:

I can't say that I agree that removing the gutter is a good thing. It goes so well with the theme.

foosball says:

RIP, gutter 2010-2012. We hardly knew thee!

Im_On_One says:

You didn't even stick with it the whole time so you shouldn't say anything

foosball says:

I know. Where do I turn myself in?

Btw, wanna buy my Arrive? I'll give you a good deal.

xmarklive says:

What is the gutter is It the empty space on the side with the arrow.

MastrMeatWad says:

correct. :) 
So my guess will be a seemless screen and you still swipe to get to the #-a-z apps.

willied says:

Yes, that is it.

mab664 says:

I likes the gutter too. Perfect for moving tiles around

iMlindberg says:

What the hell is gutter? And for a second I was sceptical about the small tiles, but then realized how great it would be not having to flick and search all the time for an application that didn't need a big live tile :D

JPDVM2014 says:

The gutter is the empty space to the right of the live tiles. I am all for it going away. And I wouldn't worry about the small tiles, because, if I'm reading right, you will be able to customize the size. You can just make them all medium instead of small.

ShortStuff says:

Im perfectly fine with leaving my gutter behind there are better things I can be doing with that space lol

polob says:

Losing the gutter is a BIG loss. Makes me VERY nervous that the great design that drew me to WP is being diluted / tainted / abandoned. This MS fan went from Bewitched (by Surface) on Monday to Bothered & Bewildered (by new WP start screen) on Wednesday. SO hope its not an altogether done deal.

EJNelly says:

Can I keep my gutter?

anodynamic says:

Along with the arrow I think it really added something unique to the WP/Metro look.

alex6272 says:

^This. I like the little arrow

blackprince says:

That neutral space was nice and made it easier to move tiles around.

nelson799 says:

Put medium tiles in one column and small ones in the next column and you'll have a gutter sort of. Might actually look nice too.

Wyn6 says:

Yeah those were my thoughts. Medium tiles down the left side, small tiles to the right of thos and voila! Gutter (stupid Paul Thurott and his word).

I love the so called gutter :(

vaultboy21 says:

same, while i like the idea of small tiles, this looks way to cluttered without that clean gutter off to the left..

ahabenezer says:

Any word on whether this new start screen rotate orientation for landscape? 

twint7787 says:

Please answer this question

Gatlyn says:

That would be perfect for resting my HTC HD7S on its kickstand!

Face2000 says:

Very nice looking indeed.

ahuczek says:

Wait. Winphone 7.8? What's that?

ejones_3 says:

It's the watered down version of WP8 that current users are going to be able to upgrade to. We get the cool start screen and some other little things but that's about it.

ejlee072006 says:


Jay Bennett says:

7.8 will be explained soon guys...

Zumanity says:

I think 7.8 is the update to current Gen

i fear that current phones will get wp7.8.....Damnnnn Noooooo

Fenrir26 says:

Yes 7.8, details please lol

peterjr1boom says:

Omg this is amazing, I better get it on my lumia 800 :)

Ticomfreak says:

Glad I wasn't alone :(

OMG55 says:

Stop acting like your on you cycle! if you want leave the tile the way they were natively, you can. So again stop crying.

rceballos10 says:

What's so shitty about it???

rceballos10 says:

Haha! Well, that's what's great about it is, you can customize it to keep it they way it is now... I like that you have that option... Easy solution! Rape avoided! =)

stzeer6 says:

You read my mind. I'm honestly considering skipping 7.8. 

Banstyle says:

So the small icons are too small and the medium icons are too big? I think you are grasping at straws here.

While you obviously entitled to your opinion I dont see where your getting you can only fit six every picture gas more then six tiles. Unless your referring to something different.

Snoops8 says:

He is referring to the increased size of the tiles. Since they removed the gutter they enlarged the 'medium' tile size to be larger. So intead of the 8 'medium' sized tiles you see on your phone now, you can only fit 6 'medium' sized tiles on the new OS, which is evident you you see the screenshots. As a result, you can't really get it looking the same as the original version since the sizes are all different.

MastrMeatWad says:

I see it differently.  You can make the tiles all the same size as current wp, but w/out the gutter.  Keep the tiles exactly how you have it.  What you are seeing is what they customized for an example to show off the different sizes, etc.  YOU can make the tiles how YOU want them to be.  That is a good thing.
People complain not enough customization, you give them customization they complain they have too many choices.  

MastrMeatWad says:

You are kidding right?  It is a demo, presentation.  Removing the gutter does not really impact the size much, if at all.  It is just centered.  Plus, you make the tiles how you want to make them.  How is this so hard to understand.

andrewkim789 says:

I liked how WP7's design was so simple, the icons were the same size, and the arrow space fitted perfectly with the theme... WHY?? It just looks too messy!

Dare2Blink says:

It makes absolutely no sense to say that it is messy because you can customize it which ever way you want and if you want to leave blank spaces you can. You are complaining about having the choice to be (in your opinion) messy as if someone is forcing you to be

Dark_Halmut says:

So keep the standard sized tiles that you have now. Nobody is forcing you to layout your home screen like that.

Saljen says:

Haven't we all complained when theres been a bad photoshop in a magazine or on a website where they copy/paste the tiles and stretch them all the way across the screen? It looks bad every time, and we always notice. Then Microsoft made that the default.... I don't get it.

timwp12 says:

Be quiet troll we all know it awesome looking and go back to your junk iPhone and android phones those are the ugly phones

mab664 says:

I liked the artist mockups better. Glad for the customization though. I wish the nav app would update in the tile and u could make it half the screen and still see other live tiles

JPDVM2014 says:

I hated the artist mockups, I think this is a much better compromise between current WP7 and people who wanted something similar to windows 8. Just my .02.

vaultboy21 says:

yeah. I'm guessing you can customize it by just keeping each row's as 1 medium + 1 small square wide.. but then u can't have double-wide tiles or 2 medium squares side-by-side..

it would be great if there was just an option in settings to scale the whole layout to fit the space it currently occupies, gutter and all..

jake69 says:

This is hilarious...first it was not enough too much.

polob says:

The new customizability & functionality are great. Muddying the WP design magic - not so great. Losing the negative space.. which has also brought with it altered tile sizes / proportion on screen, and a banal centered alignment.. makes me shudder. SO cluttered & busy, so NOT clean & clear. I hate to say it, but this huge WP fan is really let down - and really worried that the beauty of WP is being sacrificed for gimicry.

rbf1337 says:

On the fence for this one. I hate the way win 8 looks compared to WP7. Hopefully it won't be as ugly as the desktop 8.

rceballos10 says:

It's customizable... You can keep it the way it is... What's the issue? =)

rbf1337 says:

You must not use win 8 because tile size is only a fraction of what makes them different. Thanks for playing though.

jfa1 says:

Nice. Now we.can use all the screen

rceballos10 says:

Luv'n it. If you want more on you start screen.... You got it! If you want to keep it the way it is... You can do that too! Customizable!!!! Great! =)

vaultboy21 says:

how? I can't keep it the way it is now because if I want a gap on the left I can only fit one medium square (current size) and one mini square. that means no two medium squares side-by-side and no double-wide tiles, at all..

they didn't just add a 3rd column as people seem to think, rather they scaled the two columns up to fit the whole width of the screen, and, (separate issue) added smaller tiles.

mase123987 says:

It looks WAY too busy now...2 columns showed enough for me. This would be horrible on the smaller screen devices. I guess you could make it 2 columns by changing the sizes...

Pretty sure you will have the option to have 2 by 2 tiles r 1 by 4 or 4 by 4

Im_On_One says:

You don't have to use it, stop complaining

fwaits says:

Just use a top row of 4 small icons for things like phone, email, texts, and something like browser or whatever that doesn't convey a lot of info, then 6 more medium tile below that and you get 10 items in place of the 8 before minus the arrow/gutter space.  Still looks clean and simple and you gain a bit of real estate with a couple more items.

JPDVM2014 says:

+1...that sounds like an awesome set up...

.Emi. says:

maybe you can try it first before talking crap? oh wait, i dont think so. thats the way complainers and idiots acts, they critize something they havent even used.

pulkit10 says:

If it helps you, this arrangement looks very customizable so maybe you can tweak it to your own taste later? 
And on the plus side, that'll also be better than complaining on an online forum.

More tiles badass very satisfied

NIST says:

Finally we can use the whole screen!!!! More live tiled apps in less space. Perfect!

jdep1 says:

Confirm windows 7.8 only for current devices Apollo for next Gen.

rceballos10 says:

1st I've herd of it, but would make sense, since they are improving the hardware... Wouldn't expect a FULL upgrade to be avail on wp7.5

deznice says:

I just saw that 7.8 is for legacy devices. No upgrade for us 7.5 guys :(

rceballos10 says:

You sure? I just read about a month ago, that they would upgrade... Just might not have all FULL features due to hardware upgrades.

ejones_3 says:

7.5 devices are now legacy devices

cliff08er says:

Still want to know if there is going to be preview messages on the live tiles or options to turn it on or off.

troygates says:

If you make your email into a large tile you will get to preview messages. Same for messaging tile.

I want the new start screen in wp7.8

jdep1 says:

New star will come with 7.8

homars36 says:

im going back to iPhone i would have thought for sure the Lumia 900 would receive the update its been two months and its already been declared obsolete 

theefman says:

So almost all the features of WP8 in 7.8 for current devices are not enough? How about iphone4 users not getting things like siri after just one year? Anyway, ta ta!

rceballos10 says:

I concur theefman... iPhone's looks so lame now! Enjoy!

Im_On_One says:

Shut the fúck up, stupid muthafúcker

timwp12 says:

Who the f**k cares of lumia users. All I care is OS how fast and fluid it is still and new features. Thank Microsoft save nokia butt from failing

Darthmight says:

Most rapid growth of WP was experienced after Lumina.

pulkit10 says:

This is exactly what I was scared about - it's the same bloody update, just a different name for us Mango/pre-Mango users because of obvious hardware limitations. They should have just called it WP8 for all and maybe the whining would have gone down a notch. I love it when companies are honest with users and detail exactly what's happening - something MSFT did in this case but it's whining like this that makes me think otherwise.
Honestly, what are you complaining about? You are getting the EXACT same update from a software standpoint, you certainly don't expect Microsoft or Nokia to send down a rep. to put an NFC chip in your phone, do you?

troygates says:

I doubt he has a Lumia 900 anyways.

Planblover08 says:

I must agree the start screen looks like there is too much business going on. Hopefully the organize multiple screens like windows 8. But I bet you can customize it to look like wp7.

Neo Nuke says:

but no more arrow and start space! I think that looks great! no background colors or setting individual tile colors either.

di_Genius says:

Looking lovely can't wait but we need phone specs.

RyanDaLyon says:

Paul Thurrot just announced on twitter that phones running 7.x will have the new start screen

What about background wallpaper

vaultboy21 says:

ahhh, I want that arrow/off-centre back!!

Then don't update

nicholauslee says:

Is there a second screen still? The app list we have now, or do all installed apps have to have a tile on the start screen?

Verkunder says:

I was curious about this as well.

J4rrod says:

Told you Daniel!

axiomjoe says:

Beautiful. I hated the gutter, and am so glad its going:-)

sherwin892 says:

While very welcome and exciting, my initial impression is also mixed with UGLY. To a certain extent too much live tiles loses the elegance of what is found in the start screen of WP7.5 and W8. It feels elementary and cluttered. I'm just glad that it's customizable and with a strategic design in customization (sizes, placement/location), you can retain the elegance WP7.5. 

timwp12 says:

Awesome Awesome UI and new look. IPhone and android UI are still dead and boring. Windows 8 new look is a total success. So fricken beautiful. Wonder if apple co founder Steven Wozniak gonna love it again hahhaha apple iPhone and android learn a lesson how a smartphone should look and that's. Windows phone 8

timwp12 says:

Hahha I knew it was going be new look and Daniel says will be same UI look hahaha he just don't know

How is this a new UI look???? Its the same thing with some upgrades. Pretty sure that is exactly what Daniel said...

microhaxo#WP says:

I dont want to have 150 icons on my start screen..

twint7787 says:

....its to the right.

microhaxo#WP says:

did you see it?

fwaits says:

They aren't showing many end-user features of the OS today, this is developer stuff and core functions.  I'm 99.9999999999% sure the app list still exists if you swipe to the left with your finger, just no more arrow tap.

OMG55 says:

Look up the definition of customizable and you wont have to!

Munkeyphyst says:

The app list is confirmed to exist on the video of a lumia 900 running 7.8 Apparently the current early builds have bug issues with the swipe to right or app list.

nickolitis says:

Do we know anything about multitasking? And I agree with microhaxo where is the applist?

psiu_glen says:

Kind of disappointed in it, I understand they want to make the various flavors of Windows all seem the same, but different devices and usage models dictate otherwise. I find the arrow and negative space intuitive...has there been any mention of something like a notification area to the left?

plp85 says:

What is that ESPN tile displaying scores? is that new for WP7.8? Or is it available now?

ejones_3 says:

It's available now, just go into the settings and enable the live tile option.

Wyn6 says:

It was displaying scores? Let me look again. Edit: And, so it was. Heat v Thunder. Think that was game 2.

blessthejon says:

I'm gonna miss the gutter. :'(

hmm, now its ugly from a design perspective.
metro needs whitespace to breath. now windows phone new centered layout looks like the uninspired centered ios layout.
it is a nice feature to spit the tiles, but now it is impossible to have 2 squares AND the gap on the right side.
for me as a designer the gap was a  necessary key part of metro.
whats next? a full centered windows 8 screen?  :(
i want the gap and the golden proportion back. please microsoft make it an option.
centered for those who fear whitespace.
and well proportioned for the designers out there.

vaultboy21 says:

YES!!! +1,000,000,000,000

agree with everything you just said. this is really sad. the current configuration could have easily supported the addition of mini tiles without killing the beautiful metro aesthetics. people call the so-called gutter 'wasted space' but it's integral to the look and feel of WP, which i feel has (had) the best UI I'd ever seen.

myjota says:

New start screen just is ok. But i believe that thie will be soft wish let us expierence to windows 8 pc transform start screen

PhilR8 says:

I love the new Start screen.  Not sure how those small tiles are going to look on my Lumia 900, though.  I guess I'll find out soon enough!

the possibility of the small icons is great, now you can create a gutter vertically. but i miss the gutter on the right side.

alex6272 says:

Can they make the gutter optional? That would be really good, I don't mind having it there.

i hope so. this one is too messy.

mictic4 says:

I love it!:)

al.cantara says:

Just amazing!!! Love it!

albertleao says:

Am I the only one that noticed that not once during any of todays articles/events did someone swipe to the right to see the app list??

I think they were really focusing on apps and app development. Its not important to developers how their app looks on an applist. I think they are just saving somethings for a later announcement

ChanceW says:

Apparently there current version contains a bug that prevents that functionality. I guy showing it said its still there.

buma1900 says:

what about the app-list when I was switching the startscreen to the left?! is that removed in WP8 ?! ans is each app fixed to the startscreen?! Maybe they will annouce folder-mode as well to handle 100+ apps ?!?!

cliff08er says:

Cool preview messages on the live tiles:)

Dave Blake says:

WOW that video made me cry I'm So proud of Microsoft. I can't wait to get the update on my Titan II

ckeledjian says:

Wow, the video makes a whole difference. It looks great, you can give priority to anything you like.

nizzon says:

I hope we hear something about quicktoggles and "no landscape". Things I miss EVERY SINGLE DAY.

ra3w says:

When is the update going to be released in Zune?

Bushybro says:

Microsoft is not playing around!!! And with Nokia, unstoppable. I do hope Samsung brings a S3 variant though

wsantiago says:


nizzon says:

Yeah I hope there is something done to improve this, at least a toast history somewhere.

2brun4u says:

Update to existing users I hope?

BCH says:

Removing the gutter has a downside:  the tiles colums are not increased from 2 to 3, rather the tiles have increased in size horizontally and veritcally.  Unfortunately, this means you can only fit three rows of standard square tiles on the screen at one time, whereas you currently can fit 4 full rows.  This seems like a step backward.

ade333 says:

By looking at the pictures you can see that you can fit 6 rows and 4 columns on the screen if you use the small tiles

TofuDelight says:

It's only a step backwards if you keep very tile medium size. I know I will shrink certain tiles such as the phone tile, so I will see more than the current 8 tiles without scrolling.

OMG55 says:

That's a nice video

david126 says:

Enough of the praise, I want 7.8 NOW!!!

RaRa85 says:

The new start screen wins on so many levels. I really don't know what all the complaining is about. The customization is freaking awesome!

bigmanStan says:

Daniel, did they mention anything about the live lock screens?

carlosrdd says:

All I have to say is I am so proud to be a windows phone user I knew it would be better than anything out there even tho I get laughed at constantly by iPhone users But look who's laughing now can't wait!!!

eastbayrae says:

Microsoft please just take all my money!

Im_On_One says:

What the fuçk? First people were complaining about the gap and now that it's gone, more complaints? What is wrong with people?

good design polarizes. the gap was polarizing. now its the same unispired arrangement like ios.
everyone can create a middle-arrangement. menas more people will like it, but designers and people with a feeling for design now dont love it. like me.

cliff08er says:

Uninspired arrangement like IOS?lol.

.Emi. says:

no, it means people get used to it and seeing different make them complain now. that has nothing to do with design or not...
same happens with new start screen in windwos 8, specially when it works fairly better than currest start menu, because start menu is a mess, still people got used to it and seeing it changed make them complain.
its all about getting used to it. thats all not "good design polarizes" or any crap like that.
and yeah i mean if start screen was like this, from 1 day, and now they were adding the arrow ith the space, people would complain about it and how it should be like "before" because "it was better before" 

RobbCab says:

Actually, this is where you're incorrect. From the early previews of WP7 there were many (like me & jeanclaude) that loved the look straight away. The offset (gutter) was a beautiful design touch, and helped your eyes focus on the top-left tile due to the golden ratio.

I watched the entire live stream today, and to be honest, some of the screen configs looked like someone spilled a box of legos.

And to those of you saying "STFU, you can keep it the same", no, you cant. 2 medium tiles break the gutter. 1 large tile breaks the gutter.

As a UI/UX designer for almost 20 years, and someone who MS flew out to Redmond to preview WP7 before it's release, I feel we took a step backwards today when it comes to the elegance that was Windows Phone.

polob says:

Big WP booster, but unfortunately I have to agree - looks like some slick functionality added, & ability to customize is great.. But design-wise I cringe more than a little. Seems to be a bit of a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. May skip the update, which would be unfortunate. Still, even though I'm less than convinced about the changes, it IS great to see MS continue to push & innovate in WP.

RobbCab says:

Agreed. There is still a lot to love about WP8. The new features are amazing. I will be upgrading my Arrive for a WP8, but the new start screen puts is one step closer to the clutter and chaos that Android is (in)famous for.

here is another example you can see why the gutter was an essential part of metro:
the eyes need whitespace to look at.

RobbCab says:

Also, lets not overlook the fact that with the gutter, the height of half-tiles was also smaller. Stretching them accross the screen  made the tiles taller, to the point only three rows of tiles (half & full) are visible on a screen.
So while raising the amount of items you can place on the WP8 start screen, they effectively lowered the information density.
I think I'm going to start a movement called "Less clutter. More Gutter".
Who's with me?

polob says:

+1! Got a nice ring to it!

Munkeyphyst says:

Anyone else notice the Xbox live tike has a numerical notification? Turn requests?

ade333 says:

We have that now

Munkeyphyst says:

I guess I don't play any live titles that involve turn requests. :\

Gatlyn says:

Battleship is currently the only game to support turn requests.

jabtano says:

Yea I like it. and seeing as I have a first gen and a second gen the start screen will be nice to have. Then around the the first of the year I'll replace the HD7. Not sure what the beef is about on the upgrade heck if you like the OS then you have to be happy with the way they are going with it.

cliff08er says:

Some people on here talking about wanting more customization and now are complaining about it, lol.You can keep the mango setup or not love what they have done.

katakulli says:

I don't think that there is no applist. It just does not make sense by removing it and having all the apps as tiles. This would lead to chaos on the startscreen. Maybe they have a gesture based start screen now with edge detect (like win8) where you scroll from edge and you get the applist (notification center would also be great this way)..

Sooo... Any news on when the 7.8 will be available?

BK-one says:

made this comment on a post earlier..
They could have treated us like apple does their fans. That is
Windows Phone 8 will be on all phone.  and then a * comment on the bottom of the screen with tiny letters that says..... " not all features available on all devices"
At least MS was honest upfront about it today and didn't pull our chains for the next few months and then drop the bomb on us.

ChanceW says:

Ya this update situation might suck but I prefer the transparency Microsoft is showing. If Apple did this it would be no big deal.

BK-one says:


apple should call iOS 6 for iPhone 3GS and iphone 4 iOS 5.5. If anything they are the ones misleading consumers. 






Dannay says:

ARGHHHH!!!! I want that start screen now I Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

XboxOmac says:

I'm in love with that screen... Can't wait. Although, I hope not too many features are reduced for legacy phones.

OMG55 says:

From the look of it, all this is, is re-sizing and grouping of tiles which is a welcome site for me. Now I can group the phone,market place, messaging and IE in one square grouping instead of each individual taking up more screen space. I know I can resize and group tile elegantly to maintain WP7 beauty. All of the people complaining are must not have organizational skills!
Maybe when WP8 come out and I've organized my screen, I'll put out a HOW TO video!

Barrett1134 says:

Was not really liking the look of this new start screen idea until I watched the video of how it works... Very nicely done MS. Very innovative. Gotta say, I have been very impressed with their scrappiness lately. They are just trying to go punch for punch with Apple and Google, they are pulling out roundhouse kicks for the eventual knockout...

ChanceW says:

Ya same here. I might like the simpler look of the previous version better but I think the extra functionality is worth it

Madpig says:

What's up with 1/4/13? 

MerlotC says:

Good riddance gutter!