Paul Thurrott recently posted a rumour which suggests the next major version of Windows Phone would lose the back button, ostensibly because users found it confusing but likely to make the OS more suitable for use as a tablet operating system.
It seems the mere rumour of an upcoming assassination of the back button has mobilized protestors, who have taken to Microsoft’s Windows Phone user voice site to complain.
Windows Phone user Dev Jaykrishnan has posted the above suggestion, saying:
Don’t lose the Back Button in Windows Phone 8.1
I get that some people don’t get how to use the Back Button. Don’t disable it though. It’ll look awkward for those of us who have older models to have a non functioning button. Make it an option to disable it in the settings ! Please don’t make it a mandatory feature!
Please don’t remove the back button from hardware specs
Please don’t remove the back button from Windows Phone hardware spec
We are use to it
And its really helpful and makes multitasking an ease
We don’t want to have a feel like iOS
Windows Phone is unique and we love it, so please keep those three CHARMS intact
Back, Start and Search Button
There are some pretty valid reasons why not having a back button would be a bad idea.
Old time readers will remember not having the right number of buttons was a reason why the HTC HD2 was not upgraded to Windows Phone 7. Microsoft will also either have to include a back button on the screen automatically or developers will have to update their apps (which many will not do) to include a new on-screen back button (like on iOS) to make old apps compatible, and it does bring to mind recent rumours by Eldar that the next version of Windows Phone would break app compatibility.
On the other hand the Windows Phone back stack is pretty confusing, and on many occasions I have exited apps instead of merely going back one page as I intended. Multi-tasking can also be activated in many other ways, including double clicks on the start button like on iOS or edge swipes like on Blackberry 10 and Meego.
Dev has already attracted more than 200 votes. Do our readers share the passion for the back button, or is this rumoured change by Microsoft a good idea? Let us know below.
Thanks Ferrarifan for the tip.