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

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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Furthermore we seem to be at a disagreement over which metric to use. The "low margin device" to me is best countered by a per device stat.

Calculating profit or contribution margins pull in other things like marketing, admin overhead, r&d, etc that would undersell the potential given that Nokia is restructuring through 2013.

If you compare for example op expenses from last year to this year there's something like a 70% decrease due to Nokia scaling down its operations to meet volume. If we say hypothetically that Nokia sold these phones last year, their margins would look even worse if we use a profit margin.

Its the same deal here, as restructuring fades out and the division operates at true scale, the fruits of this labor will become more visible.

non-IFRS reporting gives you a glimpse into this.

* Also we're not accounting for the possibility that MSFT quarterly payments are factored into the cost of goods, so that may improve already good margins for the 520 which further underscores the helpfulness of the Msft deal.

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