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Cellphones Microsoft

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 symbolset (646467) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:26PM (#32634376) Journal

    Rumor has it they're selling hundreds [slashdot.org] of the first Windows Phone 7 handsets, the Kin, each month. It's a runaway hit. With all these new choices they might launch that up into the thousands. Watch out Apple and Android, Microsoft is back in the mobile game and they're ready to rumble.

    It is a very fine article - do read it. Apparently the compass doesn't work, but it's required on every device. That's going to make it hard to have a credible mapping application. It retains Windows CE at its core. The project leader's biggest hope is to "survive the launch," not amaze us with their brilliance.

    This comment from the article was particularly insightful:

    by peterpulmonary June 17, 2010 7:12 AM PDT the only reason to allow this type of exposure is to reduce expectations.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by goombah99 (560566)

      Hey laughed at windows 2.0 too.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:46PM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 (562437)

        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

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cbhacking (979169)

      Retaining a WinCE core doesn't mean that much, considering how much they've upgraded that kernel for WinPhone7. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing particularly good to say about either WinCE (as seen in WinMo phones) or WinPhone7, but I'm not going to go hunting for extra reasons to bash it either. A lot of the old restrictions that made WinCE suck are gone now, like the incredibly low per-process memory space, and it seems to do fairly well running devices like the ZuneHD (I don't have one, but I've played

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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.

        • 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.

          Comparing Microsoft's mobile offerings to the competition is like comparing a "special" kid's grades with those of a Valedictorian.

          • by gmhowell (26755)

            Comparing Microsoft's mobile offerings to the competition is like comparing a "special" kid's grades with those of a Valedictorian.

            If they're both applying for the same burger flipping job, why not compare them?

    • 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.

      • by Grimbleton (1034446) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @05:04PM (#32635064)

        I use copy and paste all the time on my Samsung Omnia running Windows Mobile 6.1

        • I use copy and paste all the time on my Samsung Omnia running Windows Mobile 6.1

          I used it all the time on my Treo a couple of years ago. Then I couldn't when I got an iPhone. Then eventually the OS was upgraded and I could... but yeah I still don't use it much. I use the iPhone a lot more than I did the Treo so I'm not really sure why it doesn't matter so much anymore. I don't know if it's because I adapted to not needing it or if it's because the 'workflow' of it is just different and not all that necessary. I do distinctly remember spending half my time on the Treo getting aroun

      • I suspect I'll use it a lot more on the iPad.

        You'll wish to God there was some way to turn it off on the iPad, actually. It's actually a real nuisance.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ProppaT (557551)

        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.

    • It retains Windows CE at its core. The project leader's biggest hope is to "survive the launch,"

      Has anyone put out a contract on him yet?

    • by Cylix (55374) *

      It's not like copy and paste was working before windows mobile 7 anyway. Trying to copy an address to the browser or other application can be painful. It's very much like the old X days of copy and pray.

      I made the distinct mistake of quickly saving an address to an important location in one note mobile. Eventually, I wrote the address down on a sheet of paper and re-punched it into google maps. However, this isn't the only location where copy and paste foils all attempts at reason. I've encountered similar

  • by d_jedi (773213) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:29PM (#32634392)

    Just sayin'..

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

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:33PM (#32634412)

      However the real thing is that the old Windows mobile DID have these features. Apple I suppose has the excuse of "We couldn't figure it out because it was our first time making a mobile OS and all our smart people were too busy rolling around in piles of money," or something. However MS has a mobile OS out, right now, that can copy and paste and multitask.

      So what the fuck? Do they think Apple succeeded because of those stupid restrictions? I'd guess they succeeded in spite of them, not because of them.

      Doesn't matter, I'll happily stick with my Blackberry until my contract is up and then it is probably going to be another BB or an Android phone. I'll have to see, but if MS and Apple have the "You don't want to use your phone as a tool idea," well then my money will keep going to RIM, or maybe Google.

      • Windows Mobile and Windows Phone are completely different at the UI level. I mean, literally, as far as I can tell they may have thrown away everything above the WinCE kernel and core level. I'm not saying that excuses the lack of useful and important features, but it does explain why they might not have had time to implement them (because they were working on other stuff, and would have had to re-implement them from scratch) and makes the "But WinMo6 did it!" argument rather irrelevant.

        I would say that somebody there seems a little too caught up in replicating even the mistakes of Apple's launch. As you point out, Apple did catch shit for those mistakes - it might not have cost the device its success, but it did cost them plenty of customers - and while they eventually added Copy/Paste, I'm still not buying any device which is effectively a handheld computer, but which lacks the ability to run more than one interactive application simultaneously.

        I suppose that means I probably won't be buying a WinPhone7 device, either. In a way, this is disappointing - I was hoping to have more choice when the time came to upgrade my phone, choice is always good and I have no inherent objection to buying Microsoft products as long as they don't suck - but lacking such features pretty much means it sucks, regardless of what else it has, and that means I won't be buying one.

        • by samkass (174571)

          I'm still not buying any device which is effectively a handheld computer, but which lacks the ability to run more than one interactive application simultaneously.

          So you seem to have very specific implementation-level requirement for the tools you use to do your work. Do you also require the software to use specific sorting algorithms and screen pixel representations? Wouldn't it be more effective to measure tools by task effectiveness?

        • by NotBorg (829820)

          I have no inherent objection to buying Microsoft products as long as they don't suck

          Well... that really narrows it down. You're talking about the keyboard they sell right?

          • No, the old Intellipoint mouse. That thing was gold-standard for optical mice.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by RulerOf (975607)

              No, the old Intellipoint mouse. That thing was gold-standard for optical mice.

              That is probably the truest statement I've read *all* day. That mouse was the one that finally got me to switch from trackball back over to the normal style mouse. I used it for years until one day it would blink on and off while I was playing video games, constantly getting me killed. I replaced it with a Logitech and have been Logitech for years now.

              After I was certain I'd never need the Intellimouse ever again, I cut the cord off of it, grabbed a baseball bat, and had my friend pitch it to me in my b

        • by gig (78408)

          > I'm still not buying any device which is effectively a handheld computer, but which lacks the ability
          > to run more than one interactive application simultaneously.

          iPhone has never, ever lacked the ability to run more than one interactive application simultaneously.

          You have always been able to talk on the phone while reading email or doing anything else. You have always been able to listen to music while surfing the Web or doing anything else. Email and texts are always arriving, no matter what you'r

      • by JackAxe (689361)
        Apple's Newton had copy and paste back in the nineties, so they have no excuse IMO.
      • by fermion (181285)
        I'll happily stick with my Blackberry until my contract is up and then it is probably going to be another BB or an Android phone.

        Exactly, MS is going to be competing for those customers who want an enterprise phone or a more open marketplace. That is blackberry and Android. If MS does not provide a superior smart phone experience, stating with the features already expected by users, they will not compete. Most people no longer buy something just because it has the MS logo on it. They will buy crap fro

      • So first news saying Apple is richer than MS and now suddenly the Apple phones have copy paste but not the MS phones...

        I knew I shouldn't have gone to sleep, I always suspected I might some day wake up in bizarro world :(

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by awol (98751)

      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

    • by bennomatic (691188) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:40PM (#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 Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:17PM (#32634742) Homepage
        FTA:

        "We've got a good product," he said. " I actually do believe that. I think we are going to actually have a lot of happy customers."

        It's doomed.

      • by arose (644256)

        are making all sorts of excuses for Microsoft not including it now.

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

        • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @06:43PM (#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 Anonymous Coward

        > 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 pr

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)

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

      Microsoft didn't "miss" anything. Being unable to innovate in any respect on it's own, it is trying to copy the the iPhone model as closely as it can--including leaving out copy-and-paste on it's first generation OS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gig (78408)

      The iPhone story is very different.

      iPhone lacked copy/paste in its first couple of versions. In Windows Phone *7* we are seeing the devices lose a feature they already had in 6.

      iPhone lacked copy/paste during a time when multitouch was extremely new and there were zero multitouch implementations of copy/paste. Windows Phone 7 is giving up the feature years later, when there are many phones with multitouch copy/paste.

      iPhone is a consumer device, sold direct to iPod users. Windows Phone 7 is coming from a B2B

    • 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

  • by Beardydog (716221) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:36PM (#32634428)
    I know the iPhone has an enormous Apple logo on the back, but:
    1) It's not and enormous Apple logo on the front
    2) Some people think Apple is cool

    The Windows logo instantly makes me feel like I'm at work. Seeing it on the front of my phone everytime I pick it up would sap a tiny percentage of the joy from my day everytime I picked the thing up. And why? For branding? They can't just put a stylized picture of a house, or a rounded square ( I've never heard of anyone being confused by the non-specific design on the iPhone's ONLY BUTTON )... a circle... a triangle... Maybe no icon at all!
    I want my technology to look like it was sent from an alient future, or dug up from an alien past... with mystic runes and shit.
    After Mickey Mouse, the Windows logo is the least mystical goddamn rune on earth.
  • Brave but Pointless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:36PM (#32634430)
    I'm not sure where MS thinks they're heading with Windows Phone 7. Their only advantage with WM6 was that it was actually an open platform ... you could install applications from any source. From a usability point of view, it sucks, and I say that as a current user. It is not really intended to be used without a stylus, it's slow, and it's generally not very intuitive. It seems that they're dropping their only feature, adopting the early failures of Apple (cut & paste), and heading towards what most people dislike about the iPhone (single marketplace).

    Maybe their doing what Linus Torvalds did with Git, in reversing every decision that CVS made, but I don't think it's going to end well for them. Between iPhone and Android, they're beat in almost every feature.
    • I'm not sure where MS thinks they're heading with Windows Phone 7.

              Targeting the Zune market?

    • by node 3 (115640) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:32PM (#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 asdf7890 (1518587)

      It seems that they're dropping their only feature, adopting the early failures of Apple (cut & paste), and heading towards what most people dislike about the iPhone (single marketplace).

      Perhaps they are not making enough profit for their liking from following the open route, and would like to try nickel-and-dime a new revenue stream out of phone users and the developers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gig (78408)

      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 th

      • by Vancorps (746090) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @08:57PM (#32636344)

        You've been in Steve's reality distortion field too long. If I didn't know better I'd say this was fark. Are you really trying to say that Windows 2000,XP were clones of OS 8 and 9? Cause MacOS 8 and 9 were atrocious causing instabilities everywhere, they couldn't even handle running out of disk space. The iPad is already a clone of other tablets, specifically the Archos Internet tablet which has been on the market for over a year and ran Windows XP and now runs Windows 7.

        You give Apple way too much credit, I'm not saying Microsoft deserves any but you portray a woefully inaccurate picture of the landscape. There is no one genuinely trading a Windows XP machine for an iPad. They target fundamentally different markets and have different strengths and weaknesses. The iPad has cost me many hours of lost time and has cost my users many lost hours of productivity as they encounter it's limitations. It's so heavy I can't imagine wanting to read an entire book on it. It's pretty well limited to consuming content which is precisely what it is marketed as. It makes no attempt at content creation which is why it doesn't even include a camera or SD card slot or USB.

        When it comes to mobile phones the iPhone was again nothing of a first besides the multi-touch UI. Apple's strength has been in presentation and marketing which is precisely what Microsoft used to be good at. There's no arguing that the strategy leads to business success at the cost of consumer freedom. Those of us that learned our lesson have headed for Android because we are given back the full abilities of our increasingly useful mobile hardware. I also laugh at you considering the iPhone having a full desktop browser. While it is a good browser the lack of flash makes that statement laughable at best and completely disingenuous at worst. My Android phone in contrast has a more full desktop browser but lacks functionality like adblock that I enjoy in my actual desktop browsing. It also has flash and full java capability unlike the iPhone.

        As for an open platform being a malware vector I again laugh at your distorted view of reality. As a Windows mobile user and administrator for the better part of the last decade I can assure you that malware on Windows Mobile is few and far between, so few that I've never encountered it although I've certainly read about duped users but Windows mobile since 5.0 has had centrally managed software and full multi-user controls, things the iPhone even with version 4 still lacks. The iPhone makes a half decent toy but even the camera on my Samsung Moment blows the iPhone out of the water and that was Samsung's first attempt at an Android phone. Android lacks the centrally managed functionality that Windows Mobile and Blackberry has so it still has some catching up to do but development is moving quickly as my phone came with Android 1.5 and now has 2.1 which was a significant jump. Exchange support is great now even supporting remote wipe with 2.1. Of course the locks also work unlike the iPhone as shown by the latest version of Ubuntu.

  • Pirates! (Score:5, Funny)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:36PM (#32634434) Homepage

    Copy & paste is a tool of pirates and plagiarists. There is no legitimate use for Copy & paste.

  • Not surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by diegocg (1680514) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @03:48PM (#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.

  • I think I heard this a couple months ago. No Flash, either. [tgdaily.com]

  • There goes Microsoft copying Apple again!
  • Copy "iPod", paste "Zune"
    Copy "Apple Store", paste "Microsoft Store"
    Copy "iPhone", paste "Windows Mobile 7"


    I'm seeing a pattern here...
  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by cloakedpegasus (1761746) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @04:50PM (#32634990)
    This was known on day one. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-20000585-56.html [cnet.com]
  • They lost their market share, their mobile customers, and now their developers. At least they have been thorough. BTW, did anyone mention that their new version of Windows Mobile runs the old version of Internet Explorer (IE7)? It will soon be the older version as IE9 will release at about the same time.
  • Did you read the part where the current prototypes have a dead battery by 2PM?

    Uh-oh
  • Windows Phone 7 shows how the phone OS development process is broken industry wide. Software houses* rush out an incomplete release, expect people to pay for it, and plan to use the proceeds to finance the development of a later, usable release.

    First, MS is leaving out two important features that belong together:

    • Websurfing
    • Copy and paste: Copying, searching with, and sharing text information

    Notice how neither Ida nor Myerson includes them in the list of things Windows Phone 7 does:

    • Merging personal and
  • Come on now... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by billsayswow (1681722) on Sunday June 20, 2010 @06:35PM (#32635670)
    Come on, don't start coming down on them for no copy-paste yet. It took the iPhone long enough to get it, and we gave them a chance.

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