Windows Phone 7 Mango may not require physical buttons

Windows Phone 7 Mango may not require physical buttons
Last week, we finally saw a mockup of the Nokia Sea Ray WP7 handset, and were mildly intrigued to see that there were no physical buttons on the front of the phone. The prevailing theory at the time was that the photos didn't represent finalized hardware, and that the function buttons would be added later. Now, it seems that WP7 may be taking a cue from Android and moving to not require physical buttons at all. 

The news comes from Eldar Murtazin, a Russian blogger who has had a track record of breaking big news, namely that Nokia and Microsoft were making the deal for Nokia to exclusively use WP7. This time, Eldar is saying that with the WP7 Mango update, manufacturers will no longer be required to have physical function buttons on the front of a device. 

This seems like an odd move by Microsoft, because physical buttons cause far fewer accidental presses than virtual buttons. It's also strange because the move to virtual buttons was a necessity for Google, because manufacturers couldn't agree on what order the menu, home, back and search buttons should be placed (or even if there would be a search button), so virtual buttons make a more unified experience for users. Microsoft already had hardware requirements in place so all phones have the same back, Windows, and search buttons in the same places. 

What do you guys think? Physical or virtual buttons? Does it matter?

source: WMPU



1. bluechrism unregistered

None - adapt Windows Phone to use Swipe UX N9 style.

2. simplyj

Posts: 406; Member since: Dec 23, 2009

I thought the Arrive has virtual buttons?

3. Su-Rio

Posts: 51; Member since: May 05, 2011

whats with all the no need of physical buttons these days? the most reliable devices will be the ones with physical buttons... a true button-less phone will be all button-less, no power button, no volume controls... and it would be weird to carry a brick basically... but i wanna see a qwerty phones with a touchscreen keyboard, like the acer iconia laptop

4. Dj21o

Posts: 437; Member since: May 19, 2011

The thing I like about the touch sensitive buttons, is that they are less likely to be hit in your pocket (menu to unlock - android). If I were to try to use any other clothing or object, I will not trigger those buttons. But it is also easy to accidentally hit them as well (typing).

5. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Funny thing is that with my Samsung focus this isn't the case. The touchscreen is so damn sensitive that it can be pressed through thin fabrics such as my shirt or even worse some of my pockets. There had been a few occasions, although I must stress few, where I heard a beep only to find that the voice controls have been activated, from inside my pocket! One time I even put it back in just to have the same thing happen. The problem was I would put the phone in while its on the lockscreen and my phone is set to enable voice controls from lock. Still its sensitive enough to detect skin through the lining of my pockets.

6. Dj21o

Posts: 437; Member since: May 19, 2011

That sucks lol. Do you think it is a certain feature on certain phones/manufacturers? Because when I had my Epic, I never had a problem with that either, same thing with my Evo. The focus is a bad ass phone though. And my Epic was made by Samsung as well... No idea lol.

12. Leyjee

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 25, 2011

I have that problem aswell lol...

7. Dj21o

Posts: 437; Member since: May 19, 2011

Does anyone think this is a smart move by Nokia? How would you go back to the home tiles, not to mention this will take up a substantial amount of the screen?

8. ppLVR

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 23, 2011

Take this news with a grain of salt..Eldar is behind it

9. Issak unregistered

I think physical buttons are much better, it's nice to have it plain and simple but none at all is too bland. And I don't see how this could happen without having them displayed on the screen providing that the new update has multitasking via holding down the back arrow. And I think having them displayed on the screen is ultimately a waste of space.

10. christianqwerty

Posts: 467; Member since: May 05, 2011

I hate touch sensitive on my focus, whenever I ask someone to take a picture on my phone, they always hit it, and there like " huh what happened" or when I let people aee something on my phone, they always press the little touch buttons, and ask " what happened to the screen" and it makes me mad, I like the actual buttons better, Anither thing, is sometimes, it presses itself, like when im holding the phone in death grip mode, sometimes the little buttons vibrate and activate, and when i squezze a little hard on the sides, blah blah im ranting on now, I'll stop

13. Leyjee

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 25, 2011

Exact same thing on my focus you give it to somone they grab it and it goes to the tile menu or something...

11. RizalMurad unregistered

I love touch phone..But i hate when everything is had do with touch...What are they thinking???

14. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Physical keys every time.

15. MpowerSkills

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 19, 2011

I don't own any Apple products, but I think the closer Microsoft and Android and get their products to function like Apple the better, as far as the interface goes that is.

16. max unregistered

I think physical buttons are a lot better.The adventage is that you can feel them without looking on the screen and that you don't press them by accident because you don't feel them when you're not looking at your phone . I understand that phone manufacturers don't like physical buttons. They are more expensive than virtual buttons, in the design and in the building process and they break more often. Also, they give the phone an inconsistent look. The only real compromise between manufactors and users is a palm/n9-ish swipe workarround for buttons. You don't swipe accidentaly over your phone when you're not looking at it and one could disable those gestures when you swipe a lot in games. The most stupidest thing are virtual buttons on your screen. Consuming battery and annoying you when you're looking a movie with a dark scene or reading text with dark background. They could also get pressed accidentally more often because there is no distance to the screen.

17. ilikedacheese unregistered

why? why? Virtual buttons waste space and are to easy to press on accident... In fact, I'd prefer physical buttons to capacitive buttons any day!!!!!

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