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At its Mix10 conference this week, Microsoft revealed that its upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS will not offer copy / paste functionality. Instead, Microsoft hopes to predict when you would use such functionality and offer a single-tap alternative action.

"Windows Phone 7 Series will not initially offer copy-and-paste; instead, we try to solve the most common uses for copy-and-paste via single-tap action," says Casey McGee, a senior marketing manager in Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business group. "For example, people often want to take an address and view it on a map, highlight a term in the browser, and do a search or copy a phone number to make a call. Instead of the user manually doing a copy and paste in these scenarios, we recognize those situations automatically and make them happen with just one touch. In our early testing, people have been pleased with this approach, but we’re always listening to feedback and will continue to improve our feature set over time based on what we hear."

Although Microsoft won't offer copy/paste functions, Casey did say developers are free to implement copy-and-paste functionality in their own applications. Considering current versions of Windows Mobile have copy and paste functions, this recent announcement from Microsoft seems like a step backwards. As you'll recall, the first two versions of the iPhone did not offer OS-level copy and paste. Finally, iPhone OS 3.0 added this functionality in July 2009. Here's hoping Windows Phone 7 doesn't follow Apple on this one and take three iterations of the OS to re-implement copy and paste.
  •  AKwyn
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I don't know. It just seems like they're trying to copy Apple a little bit too hard. I mean Apple has already implemented copy and pase in version 3.0 of the iPhone software and Microsoft couldn't of just done the same thing instead of leaving out the ability to copy and paste in the first version?


I wish they would elaborate more on "we recognize those situations automatically and make them happen with just one touch". I prefer the trusty copy and paste as it is simple and to the point. Maybe with a touch screen it is a bit difficult highlighting the text you want to copy.


I really hope this isn't a final decision from MS. Windows 7 Mobile is going to need everything the iPhone has to offer and more to catch on and retracting features like this just doesn't seem wise. Can they not implement traditional copy/paste in conjunction with whatever their new idea is and let the user choose their preference?


that's one of the basic usability functionality of OS.

guess windows phone 7 wants users to "copy" text into their brain and "paste" it from their own memory back into the phone.


The "early testing" that Microsoft did could be bad to based something like this feature on. Focus groups aren't that great as people think of them as. A lot of errors and influence can sway results. By the way, I'm assuming they did a focus group here.

Like others have said, Microsoft should have looked at the iPhone to avoid mistakes that the iPhone already went through. However many iPhones were sold and the number of people who complained should outweigh "early testing." If Microsoft wanted to be safe, they could have introduced this new feature along with the old tried and true way of copy/paste.


Well this is a good ploy to generate buzz.

Following in the footsteps of apple, remember how many people were clamoring for C/P. I bet they feel if they get enough people talking about it then when they do finally deliver on the simplest thing that has always been a staple of windows platforms, they will expect a rush on the market.

Of course, Microsoft has always been very good at taking Apples ideas and making them less stable in order to generate bigger secondary markets. Hence the mouse and Windows itself.

I am excited about these HTC phones, I do hope if they are stable and have good capabilities? That they could rival and even surprise the IPhone.

  •  bbdl
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I thought Microsoft invented copy paste. I of course could be wrong, but it seems like a general function to me. SO leaving it off seems like a bad idea to me.

  •  acarzt
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*face palm*

MS, what are you thinking? Why not just run copy/paste side by side with the new features? Or give the user the option to choose which they prefer? rawr!

What if i'm making a note, something I often do, and want to copy some of the text and repaste it in the same note? Or copy and paste that into a text message.

Or what if I want to send 2 text messages to 2 different people, same text except I want to slightly change it for the other person, an other thing I do often. I don't want to go through the hassel of going into my sent items and doing a forward. I just want to copy and paste. :-|