No Copy And Paste For Windows Phone 7 - InformationWeek

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3/17/2010
12:09 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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No Copy And Paste For Windows Phone 7

More info came out of Mix10 today and while some is good - a lot of it actually -- some is bad, and at least one thing is downright awful. Microsoft confirmed today in a Q&A session that Windows Phone 7 has no support for a clipboard. That's right, that means that Cut, Copy and Paste are missing in action in Microsoft's new platform. Huh?

More info came out of Mix10 today and while some is good - a lot of it actually -- some is bad, and at least one thing is downright awful. Microsoft confirmed today in a Q&A session that Windows Phone 7 has no support for a clipboard. That's right, that means that Cut, Copy and Paste are missing in action in Microsoft's new platform. Huh?Engadget posted the info from the Q&A session where Microsoft revealed this key feature was missing. As the article points out, Windows Mobile has had a clipboard since before it was even called a Pocket PC in 2000. I've used it to copy address information into an email to send. copy a number from an instant message to drop into a contact, copy a URL from Internet Explorer into a Twitter app, which automatically used a URL shortener for me, etc. I do not think a day goes by that I don't use the clipboard on my phone.

This makes the follow up comment from Microsoft in the article just that much more bewildering. "There is a data-detection service built into the text-handling API that will recognize phone numbers and addresses, but Microsoft says most users, including Office users, don't really need clipboard functionality."

Office users don't need a clipboard? Has anyone on the Windows Phone team ever used Excel? The entire premise of Excel is write the formula once, copy it as much as necessary. In my other life, I am an accountant in the business world and have a number of Excel template files on my device that I use for quick estimates. One simple example is a mortgage amortization spreadsheet. It has only four or five unique formulas, but they are copied down dozens of rows.

That might only be useful for bankers, mortgage lenders and accountants, but that is one segment of buyers that would use Excel on their phone. Others though include engineers, production schedulers, salesmen, investment bankers, etc. You'd never build a full blown spreadsheet on the phone, but whipping up a quick ad-hoc template makes a lot of sense.

Has Microsoft been under a rock for the last few years? Copy/Paste was a feature that Apple iPhone users clamored for and Apple finally delivered in the third version released in the summer of 2009.

I hope the Windows Phone team doesn't share the attitude of their spokesman at Mix10. If they really think that consumers don't use the clipboard, they have another think coming. I am hoping this was a matter of freezing the feature set to meet a shipment deadline of this fall and the feature will be in an upcoming version that will hopefully be released sooner rather than later. We'll have to wait and see.

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