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The back button in Windows Phone devices is there to allow users who want to go back to other applications with ease, though if a new rumor is true, future devices might do away with this button altogether. Paul Thurrott, a man believed to have insights into Microsoft’s work, has heard from a single source that the support for a hardware back button will be eliminated in WIndows Phone 8.1. This particular WP update is expected to be released next year.

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It is not known how multitasking will work in Windows Phone 8.1, given the fact that the back button is also used to bring up the multitasking user interface. Microsoft is expected to tweak the multitasking experience in Windows Phone 8.1, so its possible that it might devise a completely new way of bringing up the interface. This update is also expected to bring support for devices that have displays up to 10 inches. The current Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update brings support for devices with 5 and 6 inch displays, going by this rumor, it appears that Windows Phone 8.1 will up the ante. The company is also rumored to be creating a universal binary for apps, which would mean that developers won’t have to make separate apps for Windows Phone and Windows RT, a single app will be able to run on both platforms. This is in line with recent rumors which suggest that Microsoft might merge Windows RT and WIndows Phone over the next two years. Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to release for existing devices in spring next year.

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