What Windows 10 means for Windows Phone? Less than you'd expect

Windows 10 on smartphones will look a little cleaner and behave a little better than before, but the biggest changes Microsoft made to its all-in-one OS come from the phone, not the other way around.

Microsoft's 2-hour Windows 10 launch event produced a flurry of details about what we can expect from the new operating system for phones. Overall, the OS update seems minimal. The biggest changes come with redesigned apps that will run across all platforms. Ready? Let's go.

'Windows Phone' no more?

Microsoft didn't mention "Windows Phone" once during the presentation of its new mobile OS. It's clear that the company wants people to think of Windows 10 as a single, cross-platform operating system that works on all sorts of devices. Still, we have to call it something, right? For now, get used to the clunky phrase "Windows 10 for phones." We'll keep you posted if this changes one way or another.

Start screen and navigation

The Windows 10 start screen on a phone, specifically on the 6-inch Nokia Lumia 1520 we saw during the demo, looks a lot like Windows Phone 8. That means tiles. Lots and lots of tiles.

Presumably, you'll be able to organize tiles and change their sizes the same way. As it stands, your most recently downloaded apps pop up on the top of your screen. Any image you choose for the background now extends to the corners of the screen in a full-bleed layout.

The Action Center, where notifications live, gets a PC-like experience with expanding buttons and the power to dismiss items when you're done. Better yet, it syncs with PC tasks, so you don't have to clear notifications twice.

Other menus carry over the Windows 10 look and feel, like the Settings screen. The keyboard drags around the screen for optimal placement.
Skype and messaging

Hallelujah! The messaging app now integrates calling through Skype, Microsoft's voice over IP (VoIP) service, which for too long has remained a standalone app. Microsoft promises that on the front end at least, it'll work as seamlessly as making calls through your operator.

Sprint bundles iPhone and iPad into $100 lease

From now to early April, customers can save $17 a month by bundling Sprint's iPhone and iPad programs.

Sprint keeps adding to its Apple device leasing programs.

Sprint is keeping up its effort to entice more Apple enthusiasts, this time offering a bundle of the iPhone and iPad for $100 a month.

The promotion, which ends April 9, pulls together the wireless carrier's existing iPhone for Life andiPad for Life leasing programs at a savings of $17 a month. The deal includes an Apple iPhone 6smartphone and iPad Mini 3 tablet, both with 16 gigabytes of storage, for no upfront cost or activation fee.

The deal is just the latest in a series of deals and discounts Sprint has been offering under new CEO Marcelo Claure to bring back customers after years of users defecting to other carriers. Sprint is hoping it can remake itself as a cheaper option to Verizon and AT&T, while also competing directly with T-Mobile as the mobile value player. The company showed an early sign of success by reporting last month that it added a net 967,000 new customers.

Sprint has been actively courting Apple customers with the specialized iPhone and iPad programs, which let people lease the devices for 12- or 24-month periods, then either buy the devices, upgrade to new devices or return the leased devices and end the program.

Breaking down the monthly cost of the bundle promotion, customers will pay $20 for the iPhone for Life program and $50 for a Simply Unlimited talk, text and data plan for the phone. A separate 2 gigabyte data plan for $30 will be needed for the tablet, though the $17 monthly fee for the iPad Mini 3 is cut out as part of the promotion.