Renowned leakster @evleaks has shared a part of a screenshot from Windows Phone 8.1 on Twitter. The image shows on-screen touch navigation buttons. This the three-button collection of Back, Windows and Search keys very like what you might see on the more recent incarnations of Androids. @evleaks‘ tweet suggests Microsoft is going to remove the need for hardware buttons and diversify the interaction on Windows Phone devices giving OEMs the choice between hardware and virtual buttons.
Can you think of any pro’s and con’s? Hardware buttons have their limits, also they have their merits. Android devices have shown us in the past that hardware buttons can be rejigged to suit a certain hardware manufacturers’ needs and that on screen buttons can sometime be intrusive or unresponsive. However you look at it Microsoft are following suit and with luck it might be a bit of a bonus.