Windows Phone 7.8, but we really haven’t heard much official word beyond that. Now Microsoft has finally piped up via an official blog post from Terry Myerson, the corporate VP for Windows Phone. Windows Phone 7 is coming, but not until early 2013. As for handset support, we already know that the LG Optimus 7 isn’t making the cut, but it probably won’t be the only handset that is being phased out of support. So what’s actually new in Windows Phone 7.8? According to the post, we hear that there will now be the new Start screen (old news at this point), 20 OS accent colors and an improved lock screen with features such as Bing Picture of the Day. Not much else is mentioned, though perhaps Microsoft could be holding out on mentioning a few other extras. The big question is whether any of this matters. Isn’t Windows Phone 7.8 just a token parting gift for Windows Phone users that still are on contract? It might seem that way, but I think Microsoft is looking at the bigger picture here. In many major markets like the United States, Windows Phone 7 handsets will likely start to disappear from the market in favor of Windows Phone 8. Still, for major market prepaid and budget accounts, Windows Phone 7.8 handsets could prove to be a great option for consumers that want a simple single-core Windows smartphone. Additionally, new Windows Phone 7.8 handsets could roll out at lower prices that will allow Microsoft to gain a stronger market share in developing markets in Asia, Africa and other parts of the globe. Remember that there are still some markets clinging on to ancient versions of Windows Mobile, and these are markets that Microsoft would be foolish to completely ignore. The key to success among customers looking for a low cost device will be continued app support and reach. This is exactly what Microsoft is trying to do.