Microsoft to no longer require hardware keys on Windows Phone, introducing on-screen buttons a la Nexus?
posted by Victor H. / Oct 16, 2013, 4:19 AM
Microsoft however has not settled on a final decision just yet. If it does, the plan could be to drop the requirement for the back, search and Windows Start keys altogether. The replacement virtual buttons are said to be located on the bottom of the display in a black strip, something definitely reminiscent of Android’s virtual keys. Currently, Microsoft is allegedly testing out compatibility of this new button layout with existing apps.
This of course brings more clarity. Microsoft is not simply “killing” the hardware back button (and all other hardware buttons for that matter). Instead, it might replace them with virtual ones. The move is allegedly dictated by cost as those hardware buttons add up to the bill of materials. Could this also be a move to bring Windows Phone further down in price to match Android? It sounds like one possible reason.
Another interesting suggestion is that Microsoft is doing all those adjustments to lure in HTC as another key partner in addition to Nokia. Sales of HTC Android smartphones have stumbled as it has to fight the behemoth Android phone maker Samsung. We’ve recently heard that HTC is also courted by Amazon, and might have actually agreed to make smartphones for the world’s largest etailer.
Microsoft has been slowly but surely loosing the grip on its tight Windows Phone requirements for phone makers. It first dropped the requirement for a dedicated physical camera key (but most Windows Phones still choose to use it).
source: The Verge
Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012
Ohh, lawwwwd! Fine for lower-end phones.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 4:28 AM 3
Posts: 545; Member since: Feb 23, 2012
Why MS copying Nexus onscreen buttons? it will be much better if we have a WP OS with full gesture controls like BB10 & Ubuntu Touch.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 4:42 AM 2
Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013
Good. Love on screen button and what's with lure HTC??? I don't want Microsoft lure HTC like they did to nokia. true HTC is having hard time, hope google help them. But not MS.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 4:30 AM 0
Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012
On-screen buttons take up screen space and resolution, which is bad, indeed.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 4:44 AM 3
Posts: 382; Member since: Sep 19, 2012
There is another way of looking at it. I think that on screen buttons make one hand navigation easier and make watching videos better. For instance, using a nexus 4 feels like using a 4.4 inch device, but when watching videos, they go away and you get much more space. It can be a win win situation. And for example, the Lumia 1020 can have a 4.8 inch display with little to no change to one hand usage.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 5:26 AM 2
Posts: 5602; Member since: Feb 10, 2013
But hardware buttons waste space, increase bezels and phone size. OEMs should have stereo front speakers instead of the hardware buttons (e.g. Nokia, Samsung...) or empty space (Nexus, Sony, LG...)
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 5:38 AM 1
Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012
No, I hate on screen buttons, they eat up the valuable screens size area making it smaller than actual. Instead they should come up with a solution with on screen buttons having dedicated area like capacitive buttons while actual screen size remains same when using those on screen buttons. With this type people like would be pleased.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 4:48 AM 0
Posts: 266; Member since: Aug 20, 2013
copying Google :D
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 5:28 AM 0
To everyone complaining; dropping a requirement is not the same as forbidding something. Windows Phones will likely still come with them, with the exception of a few low-end or space saving devices. Microsoft is simply opening the door for innovation by loosening its overly firm grip around its mobile OS. Something people have been asking for since day 1.
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 5:45 AM 2
Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010
Maybe they want to be able to dual boot with android devices. Or have more manufacturers attracted to making WP devices in general. It would be easier for a manufacturer just to load an OS and sell it as a certain device. Smart move. a sony experia windows phone nice
posted on Oct 16, 2013, 6:25 AM 2
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