Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 brings a whole bundle of new features, but one interesting thing has been mentioned in the official documentation that may (or may not) become a reality.
The full changelog that Microsoft has put up on its developer website shows some unexpected tweaks for OEMs, pointing to a new strategy from Redmond. Which is, the possibility of removing calling and mobile network connection functionality in Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Why would you want to do that on smartphones?
Right you are, this suggests that hardware vendors now have the ability to build devices that are closer to being tablets than smartphones.
Interestingly, the OEM release notes further reveal that this new version of Windows Phone can now be installed on screen sizes up to 7 inches, with a maximum resolution of 1280 by 768.
Add two and two together and you’ve got the possibility of Windows Phone tablets — low end hardware, but devices that are a fair bit larger than the traditional phablet sizes. Now, whether some hardware vendor is brave enough to venture forth with such a device is another matter entirely.
But if we do get to see such a device, it could provide a few advantages.
For starters, a 7-inch tablet running Windows Phone will have access to more than 300,000 apps that are now available for smartphone users. Windows 8 users, on the other hand, are provided with over half this amount, at 170,000.
Then there is also the case of Windows 9 approaching, and with it total operating system convergence and universal app binaries. Much to ponder, but this new option is here.
What do you think of it? Are Windows Phone tablets a distinct possibility in the near future now that Microsoft have baked in this ability into the operating system? Or is this just an experimental move?