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Windows Phone 7 Lacks Copy-and-Paste 319

Posted by kdawson
from the took-the-iphone-a-few-releases dept.
theodp writes "In a behind-the-scenes look at Windows Phone 7 (photos), CNET's Ina Fried notes that Microsoft's new software has won early praise for breaking ground in some areas, but takes a step backward in others. In particular, it doesn't support features like copy and paste and multitasking that were already part of the old Windows Mobile. 'I think users use cut-copy-paste periodically,' said Microsoft exec Terry Myerson, '(but) there's other things they use more frequently.' Hey, tradeoffs had to be made — it was either copy-and-paste or Goo Splat."
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Windows Phone 7 Lacks Copy-and-Paste

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  • by d_jedi (773213) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:29PM (#32634392)

    Just sayin'..

    Honestly, I don't understand why such a simple, useful feature could be missed by both companies..

  • by awol (98751) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:39PM (#32634446) Journal

    My cynical side says that it's because neither want you to be able to "extract" content from the things you use your phone for and rather than design the feature thoroughly to encompass uncopyable elements they just went for the zero case.

    To be fair, man problems in software come down to the zero, one or many case in terms of design and in the case of copy and paste, I can imagine that the full implementation of what they want copy to be is very complicated. Simpler just to make it always impossible to copy rather than to decide when it is right and wrong.

    It's this kind of thing that just shits me about digital restricitons.

  • by bennomatic (691188) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:40PM (#32634450) Homepage
    Yes, and Windows (and other non-Apple) fanbois eviscerated (verbally at least) Apple for not including it. Some of the same people (Paul Thurrott, I'm looking at you) are making all sorts of excuses for Microsoft not including it now.

    Personally, I didn't really care much about cut and paste when I got my ipod touch; now that I have it, I like it. So for me, this is a big "whatever". But if you lambasted Apple for not having it but you want to excuse MS for not having it, you have some introspection to do.

    Of course, I'm using "you" in the general sense; I am not accusing you personally, parent poster, of having done so.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:46PM (#32634496)

    My favorite part is that they're desperately trying to recruit games developers, while not allowing those developers to use native code. No, instead they're forcing developers to rewrite their games from scratch with C# and XNA, a platform so successful, there have been literally hundreds of indie games released for the Xbox 360. I could either write my game with C/C++ and OpenGL ES and with minimal tweakage, release on the iPhone, iPad, and Android, the most popular and fastest growing mobile platforms capable of running real games. Or I can develop a game that will run only on a platform that has not yet been released and will almost certainly sell poorly. Hm. Tough choice.

  • Swing and a miss (Score:1, Insightful)

    by anarking (34854) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:46PM (#32634500) Homepage

    Just as windows mobile was catching up being coupled with Sense UI and the like, they go and join the worthless herd of App-based feature-less mobile OS'es. The thing is, as far as mobile OS'es go, windows mobile has been ahead, being an open platform and close to an actual OS. And there is a marketplace for apps on the phones anyways. 7 becomes worthless, and 6.5 will go on and on being used and modded by power users for years to come because it's the last of the useful mobile OS'es. Long live task manager. :P

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by diegocg (1680514) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:48PM (#32634510)

    Phone 7 is in many ways a new mobile operative system, it doesn't even run software from old windows mobile versions (and you can't port your old C++ programs because native code programs are forbidden/restricted to big partners). So it's not surprising to find big differences with windows mobile. Wikipedia says it doesn't even support a socket API.

  • by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:02PM (#32634638)

    They started copying iPhone OS before Apple added that feature.

    This is overblown anyway. I've use C/P maybe 3 times since they added the feature. I suspect I'll use it a lot more on the iPad.

  • Re:Windows button (Score:3, Insightful)

    by node 3 (115640) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:08PM (#32634684)

    How do you feel about that Apple logo (or two) on your keyboard? How about the upper left corner of your screen?

    Mac keyboards don't have Apple keys anymore. And the one on the screen is the icon you click on, just like the Windows button. The physical button on Windows phones doesn't benefit by having a Windows icon in the way the button on Windows 7 does. Think about how tacky it would be were the home button to have an Apple logo on it.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:32PM (#32634844)

    and heading towards what most people dislike about the iPhone (single marketplace)

    I don't think "most people dislike" this, Nerdfest. I realize it's a fairly common sentiment here on Slashdot, but most people have different priorities.

    Maybe their doing what Linus Torvalds did with Git, in reversing every decision that CVS made

    The thing is, Microsoft just isn't that talented. I don't mean they don't have talented employees, but that the way the company works, talent just doesn't enter into it. What they do, what they've always done, is copy what others have done, and unlike Apple who, when they copy they make things better (that's what "good artists copy, great artists steal" means), MS copies poorly. The first few iterations are atrocious. But eventually they copy things so thoroughly that, what the hell, it's good enough, right?

    Technologically, MS has always been behind the curve. Macs, Amigas, OS/2. All made Windows (and DOS!) look pathetic. But price and hardware support, along with some horrible, but effective, business tactics won out.

    And it looks like MS is trying the same here, but without the ability to engage in the same old business tactics, and without the sort of market where price and hardware support is as important as it was during the PC era. So, like you said, I just don't see how this will work out well for them. They can't out-class iPhone, or out-geek Android, and they can't tie their monopoly to it.

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see. MS has a way of sticking around with technically inferior offerings. It's like a gambler with enough money to keep doubling down. You don't have to win right away, you just have to win somewhere along the line. MS doesn't have the burden of caring about whether their products are good, they just want them to sell, and they have the money and the will to stick around until they do. They'll keep "reinventing" their products (WinCE to Windows Mobile to Windows Phone 7, with Zune and Kin thrown in for good measure) until something sticks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:36PM (#32634880)

    Spoken like a true Microsoft apologist. Compare a slightly better version to the original fucked up and broken version (all by the same wonderful vendor) and call it progress as if nothing else existed.

    Heaven forbid you compare it to the competition head on.

  • by node 3 (115640) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:44PM (#32634946)

    Just as windows mobile was catching up being coupled with Sense UI and the like, they go and join the worthless herd of App-based feature-less mobile OS'es.

    "Worthless herd"? iPhone and, to a lesser extent, Android, are where it's at. The old-style Windows Mobile is about as appealing today as a tape-playing Walkman.

    The thing is, as far as mobile OS'es go, windows mobile has been ahead, being an open platform and close to an actual OS.

    "Ahead"? Ahead of Palm, technologically, and ahead of Apple and Google in terms of timeline where they entered the market. But that's pretty much it. As for being "close to an actual OS", iOS is OS X. Android is Linux with (essentially) a custom windowing system. Windows Mobile is much further from Windows than either iOS or Android are to their respective desktop counterparts.

    7 becomes worthless

    I agree. It can't outclass iPhone or out-geek Android. In a word, worthless.

    and 6.5 will go on and on being used and modded by power users for years to come

    I didn't realize "power users" meant "a dwindling niche of users stuck in the past". I'll remember that for the next Amiga or Newton story on Slashdot. They abound with "power users" extraordinaire!

    because it's the last of the useful mobile OS'es. Long live task manager. :P

    POWER USER!!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:46PM (#32634966)

    > But if you lambasted Apple for not having it but you want to excuse MS for not having it, you have some introspection to do.

    I'm one of the people who has been giving Apple a hard time (mostly for their lame excuses about why X is unnecessary/pointless ... until they finally add it, when it becomes the most wonderful innovation ever!). I'd just like to say that this new Windows phone SUCKS ASS. Copy/paste is really basic functionality for any computer-like device. Not having it sucks.

    I expect this product to become the next Zune.

  • It wasn't me (Score:2, Insightful)

    by symbolset (646467) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @06:24PM (#32635202) Homepage Journal

    It was Microsoft's marketing department that made this link, not me. If it doesn't leverage the comarketing efforts in the way they desired that's not my fault. It's theirs.

    It's too late to undo it. They are linked.

  • by mmcxii (1707574) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @06:27PM (#32635210)
    The same kind of people who consider WinMo7 and the Kin as having the same OS. At least they should according to the logic of symbolset.
  • by gig (78408) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @06:28PM (#32635224)

    You still have to write Java apps. You're still running in a virtual machine. On iOS, 3rd party developers are running a full desktop class C toolkit, the same one Apple uses to create their apps and iOS itself.

    > iPhone has more applications because it has been out longer

    That is total BS and it's time for Android users to stop playing the "we're too new to be successful" card. iPhone did not have native apps until version 2, which shipped at the same time as Android, in mid-2008. The 3rd party app platforms on iPhone and Android are almost exactly the same age. Android lacks apps because of inherent problems with Android, not because it's too new. It's not just the number of apps, but the whole categories of apps that Android lacks.

  • by ProppaT (557551) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:04PM (#32635468) Homepage

    Copying iPhone? Come on now, really? You could say that about Android. Maybe even WebOS to some extent. Honestly though, how is this copying anything? Windows Mobile was around before iPhone and no one claimed Apple was copying MS because they weren't, it was a totally different type of experience. Windows Phone 7 is a totally different experience than the iPhone, much as the Zune HD is a much different experience than the iPod.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:15PM (#32635558) Journal

    I would also point out that saying they are the same because they have the same core, is like saying Win2K and Win7 are the same OS because they have the NT core. As the FLOSSies will tell you there can be a vastly different experience while keeping an OS core, for example with Linux you can have everything from an embedded minimal OS with nothing but a couple of CLI tools to a fully blown 3d desktop, all while having the same kernel "core at the base.

    So I'd say the only way we'll find out if Win7 mobile is any good is to wait until we actually have product in our hands. They may learn from their mistakes and put out a good product like Win7 desktop, they may pull a Vista, who knows? But trying to claim they are one and the same because they have the same core and "someday" MSFT hopes to merge them (remember how many years it took MSFT to merge consumer and business?) is kinda jumping the gun.

  • by gig (78408) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:19PM (#32635592)

    They're just doing what they always do: they're copying Apple/NeXT. However, Microsoft didn't adjust when Steve Jobs came back to Apple.

    It was productive for Microsoft to copy the 1985-1996 Apple that tried to sell to businesses and made drab interfaces and drab boxes and kept their prices high and hardly pushed the technology forward. Microsoft could keep up because Apple was slow, they were safe copying stuff whole because Apple was weak and they had even accidentally given Microsoft a license to clone their API, and the copies Microsoft created were drab enough for their PC maker customers and corporate CTO's to like them.

    It's not productive for Microsoft to copy the 1997-present Apple for all the opposite reasons. Apple sells direct to consumers now, even to the point where 1 out of every 3 Apple employees is in retail. Zune can't compete with iPod on price or features. The $99 iPhone is so cheap there's no room under there for a profitable clone. The Intel Mac erased the high-end Windows PC market from existence. The iPad is killing the low-end PC market. The products are sexy and colorful and way beyond the capabilities of Microsoft's PC maker customers to compete with.

    Windows Vista/7 was "Windows for Mac users". It's not at all what the PC makers wanted, or the CTO's wanted, or the corporate trainers wanted, and so on. Windows Phone 7 is "Windows Mobile for iPhone users." Microsoft continue to sit on a pile of money from their 2001/2003 products that were copied from the old Apple in the case of Windows XP, or ported from the old Apple system in the case of MS Office 2003.

    Plus, technology is moving faster now, and the Internet provides everyone with the latest information on the state-of-the-art, and Apple Stores just make it even worse. You can't pretend Windows Vista/7 is not 10 years behind the Mac. You can't pretend that Windows Phone 7 is not 5 years behind iPhone. People have seen the Apple Store, they've tried the products.

    I've personally seen more Windows XP to iPad upgrades than Windows XP to Vista/7, so good riddance to Microsoft. People can get the original item cheap now rather than wait for the Microsoft copy. My iPad already paid for itself. I'm drinking the milkshake of anybody who is waiting around for the Microsoft version. I've been using Mac OS X for 10 years, I've been drinking the milkshake of XP users the whole damn time. I've had a fully usable, full desktop browser in my front jeans pocket for 3 years, the whole time drinking the milkshake of other phone users.

    So no, Microsoft's products don't make sense anymore.

    > Their only advantage with WM6 was that it was actually an open platform ... you could install applications from any source

    Not a feature. That's a malware vector. That's something businesses will have to lock down and consumers will have to patrol. Neither of them wants to do that.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:37PM (#32635682)

    iPhone didn't have cut-and-paste either..

    But what it did have, were data paths for some common needs to transfer data from one place to another. For instance, you could send a URL you were browsing into Mail, or an image from your photo gallery into Mail also, and generally you could click on URL's to bring them up in Safari removing that need for cut&paste.

    I think this approach is what Windows Mobile is trying as well, instead of the need for general cut and paste to try and offer more channeled data paths for the user. I still think that approach might not be too bad, I didn't really mind not having cut & paste before and initial users of WM7 might not either depending on what they can do with information.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @07:43PM (#32635718)

    It was stupid then and it's stupid now. I haven't seen many excuses yet.

    How about the aformentioned Paul Thurrott:

    http://www.winsupersite.com/mobile/wp7_love.asp [winsupersite.com]

    The multitasking is limited. Users will only be able to get apps from the Marketplace, and not from third parties. Gasp! Is it true that there's no copy and paste?

    No matter. Windows Phone combines those very few things that were right about Windows Mobile -- primarily some business functionality -- with a much wider set of new functionality that is exciting in both scope and possibility.

    You can read what Paul thought about Apple's lack of Cut & Paste at Daring Fireball [daringfireball.net]

  • by edivad (1186799) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:24PM (#32636186)
    Nobody thinks about porting WIndows applications to a Mobile OS.
    Of course, you have to implement the GUI using the Mobile OS abstractions and functionality.
    Win32 and C/C++ libraries and frameworks that exists inside software companies, go a bit beyond the UI.
    With Android, they provided the NDK, while iOSX supports C/C++ code natively.
    But no, MS and the management du jour following the mobile unit, decided to break what made them appreciated by ISV and software developers in general.
  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <.gro.todhsals. .ta. .deteled.> on Sunday June 20, 2010 @09:37PM (#32636250)

    I could either write my game with C/C++ and OpenGL ES and with minimal tweakage, release on it Symbian/UIQ (50.3%) the most dominant platform running real games, and being blocked from the Apple (13.7%*) store for having a “evil word” in it.

    Or I just write it in Java, giving me the ability to run it on every phone on the damn planet, except for the Apple and Microsoft lock-in-infected ones, while still having full speed because modern phones already support all the important APIs in Java (OpenGL ES, Multimedia APIs on the level of EAX HD, Location API, storage, etc) :)

    Disclaimer: I’m a mobile phone game developer, and if you got a Apple or MS phone, that’s your own damn fault. (Although if you pay me a lot of money, I might use a trick to get them to run on your unlocked Apple phone. For Windows there in no JVM, last time I looked, so I can’t offer that there.

    ___
    * US numberts

  • Re:Come on now... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by baka_toroi (1194359) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @11:49PM (#32636938) Journal
    The iPhone was offering something new. This doesn't.
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Monday June 21, 2010 @09:23AM (#32639834)

    Still, GP has a point. Astro is an awesome tool, but it's a 3rd party tool. The fact Android doesn't include any built-in, native file manager is a mistake and a shortcoming

    True, there's no default file manager but it's very debatable whether that's a shortcoming to the target market. When you're trying to sell phones to the "Oh, shiny!" set, (and face it, that's always the real aim), do you really want to clutter the device? People like us that see value in a file manager are going to seek one out. Besides, we wouldn't be using the default anyway. I have yet to see a platform that has a decent built in tool. Explorer sucks, finder sucks, nautilus sucks. The only great file manager I've ever seen was Konqueror in kde3.

    BTW, the quote above brought to you via cut and paste on my droid.

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