A few days ago, a report from Paul Thurrott's Winsupersite page claimed that Microsoft was planning to remove the physical Back button for the upcoming release of Windows Phone 8.1. The report, which said Microsoft is doing away with the button because users "don't realize what they're doing" when it is pressed multiple times, has yet to be confirmed or denied by the company.
However, that hasn't stopped lots of Windows Phone fans from joining an online protest, hoping to keep the Back button alive. A post on Microsoft's official Windows Phone forums that allows people to vote on feature suggestions has generated over 330 votes, as of this writing, for Microsoft to not remove the Back button for Windows Phone 8.1. Some of the comments in that forum thread include one from "Dev Jaykrishnan", who stated:
I get that some people don't get how to use the Back Button. Don't disable it though. It'll look awkward for those of us who have older models to have a non functioning button. Make it an option to disable it in the settings ! Please don't make it a mandatory feature!
The forum thread isn't unanimous, however. One anonymous posted suggested replacing the Back button functions with the "charms" menu from Windows 8. Another posted, "Joseph" states, "Don't let polls of the internet people restrict inovation (sic) (see xbox one drama)... ditch all the hardware buttons for better swipe gestures."