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No Copy/Paste, Multitasking for Windows Phone 7 Series

by Travis Harvey | March 18, 2010March 18, 2010 9:04 am PDT

The two biggest news items out of the Windows Phone 7 Series saga have more than few people questioning if Microsoft isn’t overlooking features that many users consider elementary.  Until Microsoft answers all the unknowns when it comes to WinPho7 – which most likely won’t be until launch – all we’ve got to go off is what they let slip out.  Because the first devices are still months away from market, things can always change…especially for the better.

Earlier this week, Microsoft made clear that Windows Phone 7 Series wouldn’t ship with the ability to copy and paste. Obviously this doesn’t sit well with a number of potential users who are looking to Microsoft for the most unique mobile experience since Palm unveiled WebOS.  All major players in the current mobile space already have one up on Microsoft, though it took Apple three generations before doing so.  Even without this basic feature, plenty of WinPho7 devices will be sold and chances are they’ll get around to implementing it in a future software revision.

winpho7

The second bit, and perhaps the bigger of the two, centers around the always controversial multitasking capabilities of so-called “modern” smartphones.  Multitasking on the Windows Mobile of the past was completely in the hands of the user.  Android’s taken a similar route where users can manually terminate applications through a task list. WebOS devices are straightforward where the user flicks up to kill a running process through their card interface.  It seems Microsoft’s taking the approach Apple’s made famous (or infamous) with the limitation being restricted to first-party applications.  Instead, Windows Phone 7 Series will rely on background notifications that call attention to a non-running application.

It seems Microsoft’s really just trying to play catch up in their mobile strategy but in a way nobody else is doing.  As we’d expect all mobile competitors to make some updates to their OS’s by the time Microsoft’s makes it to market, it might not be so easy for some to take a few steps back with the transition to Windows Phone 7 Series.  Is the unique overhaul going to be worth it?  Let’s hope so, but only time will tell.


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