Microsoft made it official a few weeks ago during the 2014 Mobile World Congress and relaxed the hardware requirements for future Windows Phones; namely removing the mandate for the three front facing buttons and camera button (the front buttons will be virtual, instead).
This will make some manufacturers happy in that they could use existing designs to run the Windows Phone OS without the need for re-design. Instead of hardware buttons, we could be relegated to on-screen buttons from some Windows Phone makers. While Samsung and HTC may be happy with this announcement, will consumers be happy with on-screen buttons and no camera button?
There is a Windows Phone Central Forums discussion going on where WPCentral Member trainplane presents the question “Do you like hardware buttons?”
In scanning the comments in the discussion, it appears while it is a mixed bag on which is better on-screen or hardware buttons, most think the camera button should stick around.
Personally, I can go either way with the front facing buttons as long as whatever is in place works with reliability. As far as the camera button is concerned, I think it should be a hardware requirement. I don’t mind using an on-screen shutter button from time to time but the photographer in me like a physical button to press when capturing a photograph.
So where do you stand on this issue? Jump on over to the Windows Phone Central Forums and join this discussion and share your thoughts.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.