Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Oct 2013 21:47 UTC
Windows

Paul Thurrot has a number of rumours up about Windows Phone 8.1. Two stand out to me.

Where GDR3 is widely expected to support 5- to 6-inch screens, 8.1 will supposedly support 7- to 10-inch screens as well. This obviously infringes on Windows RT/8.x tablets, so it's not clear what the thinking is there.

So, Windows RT will become even more pointless than it already is.

Aping the iPhone navigation model, Microsoft will apparently remove the Back button from the Windows Phone hardware specification with 8.1. The Back button just doesn't make sense, I was told: Users navigate away from an app by pressing the Start button and then open a new app, just like they do on iPhone. And the "back stack" is ill-understood by users: Most don't realize what they're doing when they repeatedly hit the Back button.

This I am not happy with. The back button is my main navigational input in both Android and Windows Phone, and I miss it dearly in iOS.

I'm just hoping on performance improvements, still my biggest issue with Windows Phone. I used my HTC 8X for a few hours today, and I was stunned by just how slow everything is compared to Android 4.3. Of course, application quality is another huge issue, but there's little Microsoft can do to convince developers that their Windows Phone applications are more than just side projects done between serious work on Android and iOS.

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Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The Windows Phone head runs Windows now, with all of his subordinates filling key roles in that powerful division. He brings with him the influence of the .NET stack (ensuring they aren't shunned out of the WinRT platform) and the original designers of Metro (not the copycat the Windows team did). So you're going to see a major conversion. According to Thurrot, the API unity for WP8.1 is rumored to be over 70%.

What's important is that Windows (and Windows Phone once their dust settles) will be on a yearly release schedule which should allow them ample time to move -- and Microsoft will have moved the WP code base to the more mature Windows RT stack which has support for many more ARM chipsets (including Tegra that's in the Surface) as well as Intel chips.

The inmates are no longer running the asylum in WinDiv, there's new leadership there and many things will be changing. There is a very, very real possibility that Stephen Elop will be running the whole of Microsoft soon.

Even if he doesn't -- the power struggle is over. Windows Phone won over the Windows division's objections.

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