While Windows Phone 8.1 is still in testing, a leaked screenshot shows off that the update will bring on-screen buttons. The buttons will be laid out similar to most Windows Phone devices, with a Home button, back, and search. This would allow Windows Phone devices to remove the need for physical buttons similar to some Android devices. This comes as a way for manufacturer’s to further cut costs on devices. This could also allow Android manufacturers who use on-screen buttons to use nearly identical hardware for Windows Phone devices. Microsoft is even considering removing licensing fees for manufacturers. Both the removal of the need for physical buttons and the lower cost to use the OS, Windows Phone could finally see a large boost in it’s market share. The Verge has made a mockup of what the on-screen buttons in Windows Phone 8.1 might look like.
Aside from on-screen buttons, Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to bring a notification center, personal assistant, and several UI changes. The update is expected to be announced at Microsoft’s BUILD 2014 conference.