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Windows Phone 8.1 May Support 10" Screens

Windows watcher Paul Thurrott claims that Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue", slated to be released in Spring 2014, will support 7 to 10 inch screens, possibly laying the groundwork for the supposed merger of Windows Phone and Windows RT in the future. Windows Phone 8 GDR3, which is supposedly going into testing next month and made available in December, is expected to support 5 to 6 inch screens.

The news arrives by way of an unnamed source claiming that Microsoft is preparing a universal binary so that developers can create a single app for Windows RT and Windows Phone. However, due to size issues, this will be opt-in for now, but the Redmond company may eventually decide to make using its universal binary a requirement.

The source also claims that Windows Phone 8.1 will supposedly see the removal of the hardware Back button. Typically users navigate away from an app by pressing the Start button, and then open a new app, just like iPhone owners. Users also don't seem to realize that by repeatedly hitting the back button, they're "stacking" apps. Thus the source claims that Microsoft now believes the Back button just doesn't make sense.

Currently the Back button is also used to access the multitasking user interface, so without a physical button, it's unclear as to how this interface will be accessed in Windows Phone 8.1. The GDR3 update slated for December will supposedly fix some of the technical issues multitasking currently faces (such as manually closing running apps), while the 8.1 update in the spring will supposedly resolve everything, including adding a new Notification Center.

"The biggest contributing factor in Windows Phone user dissatisfaction, and in returns, which is apparently quite high, is the lack of apps," he writes. "I'm told that Microsoft believes it is only 10-12 key apps away from being where they need to be. But you may recall that Microsoft has been trying to fix this issue for almost two years now, and it's not clear how they plan to get there now."

As it stands now, Microsoft is gearing up to launch Windows 8.1 next week. After that, the company will release the Xbox One in November, and supposedly Windows Phone 8 GDR3 in December. After that, a number of releases are expected to arrive in Spring 2014 including Windows Phone 8.1 "Blue", Windows 8.1 GDR1, Windows RT 8.1 GDR1, a new Windows Store, the Surface 2 4G LTE tablet, the Surface Mini tablet, and Modern UI apps for Office 2013.

Sources recently said that it may take two years for Microsoft to merge Windows RT and Windows Phone. Led by Microsoft's new executive vice president of operating systems, Terry Myerson, the merge will supposedly be accomplished by releasing three regular General Distribution Release (GDR) updates per year. This could possibly begin, if not in December, during the spring with the release of Windows Phone 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 GDR1 and the supposed new Windows Store.

  • legacyBIOS
    This.....this is news right here...
    Reply
  • mrmez
    WTF am I going to do with a 10" phone?
    Reply
  • wemakeourfuture
    tablet with phone capabilities is one thing.

    trying to market and sell a 10" phone is plain stupidity
    Reply
  • Nikolai Allen
    There is not one article I've ever read on Toms Hardware that didn't have at least a paragraph talking about the lack of apps on Windows Phone. I mean come on guys, this article really didn't even call for that.
    Reply
  • fleeb
    11689317 said:
    WTF am I going to do with a 10" phone?

    Ever heard of iOS? You know, that OS that supports 4", 8", and 10" screens?
    Reply
  • mrmez
    I didn't realise that, even though I have both an iphone and ipad.

    So "Windows Phone" is both a physical phone and an OS?

    I thought the whole point of the RT tablets was that it runs W8, and not some dumbed down mobile OS. So of course the best thing to do is ANOTHER u turn and dumb it down to a phone level.

    In other words, don't buy anything from M$ because they can't make up their minds are could easily discontinue anything at a moments notice.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    To all the dummies saying this means a 10" phone, this is putting the Windows Phone OS on a 10" device - does NOT mean it will be a phone. I suppose if iOS goes on a 9.7" screen it's a big iPhone and not an iPad? That's the same dumb logic you are trying to apply.
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    I would like to point out that 10" screen is not a useful measurement (ever hear of 10ft interface?). Rather devs look at pixels and pixel density (and this is how Android handles it). And as I recall MS promised consistent and automatic screen adjustment for applications across a huge range of sizes back in the 90s. It didn't happen then and I doubt it'll happen now.
    Reply
  • socalboomer
    "Typically users navigate away from an app by pressing the Start button, and then open a new app, just like iPhone owners. Users also don't seem to realize that by repeatedly hitting the back button, they're "stacking" apps. Thus the source claims that Microsoft now believes the Back button just doesn't make sense."

    Really? Not that there are a lot of us out there, but this isn't accurate.

    First, the back button is how you close applications and repeatedly hitting the back button doesn't stack apps; it's how you close a stack of apps. . .

    Second, it is by hitting the start button and opening a new app - THAT is how you stack apps, just like with the iPhone.

    Third, the back button doesn't make sense. MS should do two things - 1. make a method to close the app that is its own method - swipe down from the top (like in W8) or something. 2. keep the back button (really handy in a LOT of apps) but make it consistently "go back" instead of "sometimes go back and sometimes exit the program" which I know frustrates me and my wife.

    LOVE WP8 aside from that and the lack of apps. I really do - smooth, integrated, easy. . .
    Reply
  • JD88
    A tablet somewhere around 8" running Windows Phone OS would probably be a hit. It wouldn't need the massive amount of storage that RT or 8 need, and would be fast on low power ARM chips. I think this is a good idea as it's virtually impossible to take advantage of the desktop at smaller screen sizes anyway as I think 10" is about the smallest I would go.
    Reply