Windows Phone 7 OS Won't Have Copy/Paste

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.