Microsoft is currently readying a significant update for its mobile platform. Windows Phone 8.1 is still in the test phase but leaked screenshots now suggest that the company may include new on-screen buttons in the update.
The leaked screenshots, courtesy of @evleaks, show Windows Phone 8.1 with back, Windows and search on-screen buttons. In the past, it has been discussed that Microsoft may introduce these virtual buttons as an alternative for the physical buttons on Windows Phone handsets.
The company has a whole lot of reasons to make the move. For a start, trimming away the physical buttons and replacing them with virtual buttons will bring down the manufacturing costs for Windows Phone smartphone vendors. Especially when it comes to low-end Windows Phone handsets, this can help the manufactures squeeze a good enough profit margin without compromising the quality of the devices.
Another major factor, analysts say, is that by introducing the said virtual buttons, Microsoft will be bringing Windows Phone closer to Android, at least in terms of rudimentary navigations. This may help the company convince smartphone vendors to load Windows Phone on Android or Android-like devices.
In the past, @evleaks has predicted a number of upcoming features rather accurately. In light of that, it is safe to assume that the leaked screenshots are genuine and we can expect the new virtual buttons in the Windows Phone 8.1 update. Microsoft is expected to lift the wraps off its Windows Phone plans at the Build 2014 conference in April next year which is when we can be sure what the company is really up to.
Courtesy: The Verge