Last week news broke about Microsoft removing the requirement of a back button on future Windows Phone devices. This news was met with mixed reactions from Windows Phone users, as seen in the results of a poll we posted. For better or worse it seems that Microsoft is indeed working on removing physical buttons.
The Verge is reporting that sources familiar with Microsoft plans have revealed they will replace the back button with a virtual on-screen version. They go on to report that Microsoft is testing devices with virtual back, Start, and search buttons as well. By removing the requirement of physical buttons Microsoft will allow OEMs to cut down on costs.
The virtual buttons are said to be in a black bar along the bottom of the screen, just like in Android. By loosening the hardware requirements Microsoft is hoping to convince more OEMs to give Windows Phone a shot, especially in the low-end market. Virtual buttons would also make it easier for HTC to create a dual-boot device. Think about that.
Has your opinion on virtual buttons changed at all since the news last broke?