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No copy-and-paste for Windows Phone 7 Series

Just got the bad news from another session at MIX10 in Las Vegas: There won't be any copy-paste action going on, at least at first, as apps are going to be pretty well sandboxed.

That's the long and short of it. Whether you really need copy and paste is one of those things that'll be debating until the end of time -- or at least until it actually comes to WP7S. So strap in, everybody. It's gonna be a long ride.

Also gleaned from this afternoon's sessions is that despite Silverlight crawling all over the operating system, it won't actually be baked into Internet Explorer. That means you won't be able to take advantage of the usual Silverlight fodder you find online.

Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!

80 Comments
  • That is very bad news. I am now over the very bad news, When can I get my first 7 series phone, and who is making it.
  • Massive fail. Seriously? Is it April 1st all week for MS?
  • Oh, they've just given fodder to the Apple fanboys. I can hear it now...
  • I can't imagine what stinker of news they will drop on us tomorrow. It's rapidly making less of a difference though since many of us have already given up on this. My questions remaining are: 1) What will they do with Windows Phone 6.X series
    2) When will they announce something WP7 can do that 6.5 couldn't?
  • the netflix streaming is kinda cool...
  • Um, yeah...and Zune, and Xbox Live, and XNA, and Silverlight.
  • Silverlight that won't run in the browser - FAIL
    Zune is non-existent outside of USA - FAIL
    Netflix ditto - FAIL
    Xbox games doesn't it for me as I have a PSP. It's not worth losing multitasking, copy/paste, sideloading and an extensible platform.
  • My post was in answer to a direct question. Your arguments have nothing to do with the question that was asked.
  • Zune goes where windows phones 7 goes. So Zune will be available everywhere the phones are.
  • Oh! It's not a smartphone then?
  • Oh! It's not a smartphone then?
  • >2) When will they announce something WP7 can do that 6.5 couldn't?
    It look pretty!! xDDD
  • I don't know what to say. I kind of saw this coming when they said that this was a restart. And they keep saying a phone is not a PC. Most of the people on this site want a PC on there phone. I Really Like the whole Xbox live and Zune thing. If my company supports 7 Series Then I will switch. Why Cause Sooner or later small stuff like Copy and Paste, Silverlight and Flash in the browser will be added later. It sucks and it stupid that It wont be there day one, but I'm over it. I will be the first to say I'm a Microsoft mark, But I like most of the other stuff about 7 Series ( that is what I will call it, Cause it's the 7th series or version of the windows phone ), So can't wait for it.
  • People bought iphones without copy and paste despite every other smartphone Os and even dumbphones available that had it. My biggest us of it would be Url copying, but if wm7s auto detects urls in things i may not need it as much.
  • Yeah, you won't need it until you want to share those URLs with your friends on Facebook, SMS, or a forum. FAIL FAIL FAIL. When will these OS designers get it through their thick skulls: you aren't going to change the way people use the internet with your flashy new OS; you MUST bow to the way people use the internet. Hell, even that thick headed Steve Jobs had to capitulate in order to finally sell some iPhones.
  • People bought the iPhone because it had massive appeal in its industrial design, iTunes integration and rich internet browsing experience. It was a unique device in 2007. In 2010, there are numerous devices modeled after the iPhone that include C&P. Now that Apple has "koshered" C&P by including it, the lack of it will be all the more conspicuous, even to customers who wouldn't have otherwise cared. Apparently Microsoft chose emulate Apple's strengths and weaknesses without stepping back and questioning their assumptions. It didn't occur to them that Apple would add C&P, and now MS is left holding the bag. I'm sure MS will add clipboard functionality in a later update, but by then, most of the customers who would've cared will have moved on to a different platform.
  • why would I want this over an iPhone? no multitasking,no removable memory, no installing programs, no cut and paste!!! not a windows phone. I am very happy with 6.5.?
  • 2) When will they announce something WP7 can do that 6.5 couldn't? Zune HD media player and software. I just hope they'll release software for Macs
    . Let me combine your questions and ask, what will the Samsung WP7S phone be able to do that the HD2 can't and WHY? I'm just happy Microsoft isn't using words like "magical," "revolutionary," or "unbelievable" to describe WP7S. I'll wait 'til December to decide whether or not WP7S is the goods. Of course, I may have picked up an iPhone or Android (WebOS?) device by then and it'll all be a moot point.
  • Copying the iPhone is okay, but why this?
  • They'll have an Office hub. You mean to tell me copy and paste is not available in word? Yeah right. We have months to go before this is true or not. It could very well mean copy and paste is not "global" [Clipboard].
  • They'll probably confine the clipboard to only copy & paste within Word and not in/out other apps.
  • Utter shock and disbelief....I always suspected Stevie B of being a big cokehead. This, if true pretty much proves it to me. WOW! way to be innovative MS. Bad news though, you are basically becoming Apple circa 2007. Nice work though keep it up.
  • I actually had calmed down and rationalized some of the other "features" after reading more, but this is really getting ridiculous. I know it's a "small" feature, but, if they were trying to move forward, I don't see how losing a feature that even the iPhone OS received counts as progression. It's seriously seeming like they're just way too out of touch with the fans and reality.
  • On a side note I am starting to wonder if all those Iphones that were showing up in Redmond on the MS network, were the phones of the team in charge developing WM7. It would be sad if it turned out half the WM7 team used Iphones. It would be sad, but not shocking anymore.
  • I'm way past the point of being outraged. Now every new limitation MS announces is just amusing. I actually anticipated no sideloading or multitasking; no support for removable storage was only a mild surprise. Last night I joked to a friend that they would take away copy-and-paste, but never in a million years did I think that was a serious call. WP7. Building a bridge to the 20th Century.
  • Anxiously waiting for Windows Mobile 8...
  • You mean the OS where they take out internet access?
  • Only if apple did it first, wouldnt be the same without copying apple...
  • "Anxiously waiting for Windows Mobile 8..."
    --------------------------------------------------- Ewww- I'm SO excited for Windows Phone Series 8! Rumors are they'll have almost as many features as iPhone OS 2.0 did two years ago!!
  • Good bye Microsoft, hello Android....
  • Might have to agree with this?.. :( I love the TP2, but if I can't play like I can with the ROM, etc. then I am going to a Droid. At least that will continue to be somewhat open...
  • Oh good god, wtf? Are they trying to keep people away? I thought MIX10 was going to be where we find out all the great news about WP7, so far (aside from that awesome Netflix app) it's been a massive stream of letdowns. I'm surprised to hear myself say this but... I'm done with Windows Phone and probably moving over to Android.
  • Quit overreacting people. Holy hell. Some of you act like little girls. http://twitter.com/thurrott/statuses/10593003663
  • Pretty much sums it up. Drama queens in the making.
  • I sure hope Thurrott is right, but Dieter isn't convinced...
    http://twitter.com/backlon/status/10602461409
  • What's next? No removable batteries?!?!?!? I really thought that Microsoft could never do anything worse than Vista. Man, was I wrong! I might give WebOS a try - if Palm ever decides to release a GSM with 3G-enabled Pixi Plus. Otherwise, I'm back to BlackBerry. I want nothing to do with Windows iPhone 7.
  • Really? This is worse than Vista? So you've used a completed Windows Phone 7 device? AMAZING! What's it like in the future?
  • Without copy-and-paste, multitasking, removable storage, sideloading, etc., WP7 apparently lives in the past, not the future.
  • You have read all of what Windows iPhone 7 will bring to the table - looks + a bunch of downgrades compared to WinMo 6.x. Things could change (or not) between now and the final WiP7, but they are certainly not going to change unless we continue to voice our disapproval for Microsoft's worst decisions since Windows Vista, and someone at MS with some common sense listen to what we are saying and takes action.
  • Honestly, I don't see the point of pressing our demands. Microsoft has been very upfront in insisting that WP7 is an entirely different platform than Windows Mobile. Whether or not we like it, MS genuinely believes that there's a market for lobotomized smartphones. I wonder if they would've included C&P if they had begun their design after iPhone 3.0. With multitasking evidently coming to iPhone 4.0, Microsoft is chasing Apple's shadow rather than their current state of the art. Between MWC and MIX, MS has taken two steps forward and five steps back. No skinning, multitasking, sideloading, removable storage, USB mass storage, user-accessible file management, backward compatibility; and now we find out that the Marketplace can remotely revoke app licenses. I'd rather just move to Android and skip the emotional baggage of demanding anything from MS at this point.
  • WME team - Hi. Can you please ask the WinPho7 team what the timeline is for incremental updates (six months, six years...?). And if they have a timeline for which features are expected to be added when? What's the roadmap and timing? Thank you, Gazillions of WinMo users.
  • I can't wait for my mPhone! Yay!
  • Instead of WMP7, can we just call the it the mPhone or msPhone?
  • I don't think complaints from curretn WM/WP users are an overreaction, they are targeting a completely different market to their current user base who will move (I imagine) to Android in droves.. (most at my work have moved in the last few weeks, or are moving as these announcments from MS come out).. So far we have:
    - No backwards compatibility with previous winmo apps
    - No apps outside the app store
    - No cut and paste
    - No FLASH support
    - No programs allowed on the app store that replace core functions (home screen, dialer)
    - No native applications
    - No multitasking
    - No more on device database support (as andorid and even iphone still have) they expect large databases should be stored in the cloud so you need internet access to get to them, smaller DBs can be stored in XML files..
  • Backwards compatibility is overrated and not needed.
    Apps outside the app store will come in the future. They want to build the marketplace first and get a solid quality app base in place.
    Cut and paste exist you retard. If you read the comments before overreacting you'd see this: http://twitter.com/thurrott/statuses/10593003663
    Flash support will come after launch. Already been talked about.
    Replacing core functions isn't a major deal to me.
    Native applications is just another buzzword. The apps they've show so far look awesome.
    Multitasking = buzzword again. It is really sad how quickly you people are to overreact before the product is complete and reviewed at the very least. I'm willing to bet you'd have complained either way. If they just kept building on 6.5 you'd complain about that.
  • "Backwards compatibility is overrated and not needed." Tell that to those of us that seriously have good piles of money invested in apps... Jackass... "Multitasking - buzzword" No, to some of us who DON'T want to carry a netbook, multitasking = NEEDED.
  • anonymous is the exact type of user the new winmo is targeting
  • From Engadget: Update: We just super-double-ultra-plus-confirmed this with Microsoft -- Windows Phone 7 Series will not have copy and paste functionality. 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. We... respectfully disagree? Sure, let's leave it at that.
  • LOL re confirmation of cut-and-paste, so who is the idiot now "anonymous"-coward... As to the rest of your idiotic points ;-) - multitaking is more than a buzword.. Even Apple have decided to introduce it in the next iphone OS. - Backwards comptability is very important to their customer base who may have spent a lot of WM software that cost a lot more than iphone/android software.. Most WM users I know are leaving simply as by dropping backwards compatability they have abondoned their current userbase. - How do you know they will open up software not in the marketplace? that is a hge assumption with ZERO evidence to back it up. - Another stupid assumption by you is I wouldn't be happy with a progression on 6.x, I actually really liked 6.5 over 6.1 and though it was moving well in the right direction, and 6.5.3 was getting better again.. This is NOT a progression at all, it is starting again looking at a more media phone market and is a big up yours to their current user base..
  • And yes I bought a HTC Magic last week.. Like night and day to wm6.x and far less limiting than the iPhone or msPhone.
  • Its the worst idea ever. 1. No copy and Paste.
    2. No flash external media
    3. No Silverlight in browser - (win mob 6 with skyfire can run sliverlight.) I m a win Mob 6.5 user, Why i am still using Windows Mobile is because i can do things in the I wish to do. What i expected is, a better stable, touch enabled platform with more responsivenewss and added functionality. But what we get is another iPhone 1.0 kinda phone. We should do what Microsoft Dictates do do. I would better go for Old motorola phone. Get a Slate kind of PC. Get internet on it and work what ever i like to work on it.
  • Copy and paste has already been covered, you idiot.
    External flash media is overrated. Internal storage will be sufficient if large sizes are used.
    Not sure where you got the silverlight thing from considering the applications will be built off of that.
  • He is correct about Silverlight. Browser support will not be available initially. From above: "Also gleaned from this afternoon's sessions is that despite Silverlight crawling all over the operating system, it won't actually be baked into Internet Explorer."
  • I have got a question: Is there actaually anything that can be done with WP 7? I mean something useful. Xbox live and Zune functionality do not count for me because I use my phone for productivity purposes and for internet access when on the move. I do not want a gadget for playing games. And I do not want to use Zune and its crappy synchronisation software because nothing is simpler than copying your music from the corresponding folder on your PC to your desired folder on your phone by using some sort of usb mass storage mode. Making phone calls, the Zune integration and Xbox live actually seem to be all that WP 7 has to offer. Ah no, I forgot to mention the censorship by applying MS rules concerning allowed apps in Marketplace. I have never wanted even one of those. Instead they have taken eveything I have used so far: *Multi-tasking
    *Storage cards
    *Apps sideloading (and therefore apps developed by the community)
    *Customization
    *Copy and Paste
    *File system access (and as a result things like usb mass storage mode)
    ... Sorry MS I just cant see what your WP 7 can offer me. I could as well go for any simple phone out there and I would get the same for a far better price.
  • Microsoft must be targeting Windows Phone 7 Series phones at people who are, to express it mildly, mentally challenged. Clearly in this situation,it is advisable for everybody to switch to Android or iPhone.
  • I'm pretty disappointed with WP7. But what I don't understand are the comments about switching to android and the like.
    Why would someone who used WM6.5 switch to android, just because WP7 sucks. We have chosen the current WM offerings over Android so why would WP7 change that?
    Unless android/iphone improves of course. I don't know what the future versions of these bring but I still favor 6.5 and stick with it.
  • Software development for WM6.x (I've stuck with 6.1, after trying 6.5 on my Sprint Treo Pro and not liking it) has pretty much ground to a halt. I'd stay with the Treo Pro if it weren't for the slow processor and low memory capacity. The Touch Pro 2 seemed like an option, but then I'd be stuck with an OS with no further third party software innovation in the pipeline. Newer Snapdragon phones will feature WM6.5, not 6.1, so I'm not interested. I thought about switching to the Hero, but it's just as laggy as the Treo Pro. So I'm waiting for CTIA to see what new Android phones Sprint will be carrying. I don't know what "improvements" you're looking for in Android, but having played with 1.6 and 2.1 versions, Android seems to be improving at a phenomenal rate -- much faster than WM.
  • Just read about Sprint announcing the Nexus One and Supersonic. Game over, WP7. No lobotomized, welded-shut smartphones for me.
  • If my current apps won't work anymore and I'll be forced to switch to new ones, there's nothing stopping me from switching to a new OS in the process. I don't want to reward Microsoft's atrocious decisions by buying their new mobile OS. As for staying with WM6.x, I don't like WM 6.5 and no new device is going to come with the more efficient WM 6.1. Also, as others have pointed out app development for WM 6.x is coming to a stop sooner than we'd like to. No more Skype for WM 6.x. Adobe ditched Flash for WM 6.x to try and get something for WP7. Many new apps are coming for iPhone, Android and to a lesser degree BlackBerry, yet no WinMo version in sight. Therefore, there's very little incentive to stay with any Windows mobile OS other than keep using a phone that still works. And I'd rather switch now and sell my WM phone while it still has some resale value!
  • Regarding why I switched to Android, is that WM 6.x's days are now numbered, there will be little improvement. A big part of the reason I stayed with WM is due to features now being removed from WM (but mostly still in Android) and my back catalogue of software. Now the back catalogue of software is going to be useless (like my old PalmOS software).. So why stay with WM? they have dropped everything good and killed the software base, so I had to decide a fresh which system I like and iphone and WP7 (mPhone) don't do it for me.. As for Android getting better in future versions, well they are progressing very fast and even 1.6 (which I have ATM) already felt like a huge improvement to me over WM 6.x
  • i have a simple solution for all the folks who feel wp7s is lacking: buy a new wm6.5 phone hang on to it for 18 months or so, like most normal people do. see what's the state of art then.
  • What the frick is going on at Microsoft? - No copy and paste
    - No removable storage card
    - No sideloading of apps
    - No multi tasking There are a bunch of idiots making decisions over at Microsoft, starting with Balmer. This whole process of dumbing down things began with Bing for Windows Mobile. They made it completely useless by taking out turn by turn directions. I haven't used Bing since, and it looks like my HTC TP2 will be my last Windows phone.
  • Understand, we (those of us that check out these boards) are the minority. Most people don't want or know how to use all of the capabilities that MSFT built into WinMo. That's why they don't like it because they can't understand it. The iPhone is so easy it's stupid. It's the same software for the past three years and that's what people like. So if you want MSFT to be the majority in the space this is something they had to do. Multi tasking is a huge reason why people hate their WinMo phone because they don't know how to properly close apps, they run out their battery and never clear cache. I'm excited for WP7S but I have a feeling 6.5.3 could be used by this guy for a while.
  • It looks like im leaving WM and going Android. MS is doing the same things for what I hate the Iphone...
  • Hi, can somebody help my. I don't have a WM6professional version. Where i can download this OS?
  • Windows Phone 7 is looking more like a feature phone rather than a smart phone everyday
  • No copy/paste. Initial reaction: shock and horror.
    Later reaction ... I've actually found it's already a problem on my TP2 running WM65 - not all applications even support copy/paste so over the years (same with my HTC Touch Vogue) I've just gotten out of the habit of relying on that feature. I don't really bother. This *might* bug me in Office apps but we'll see. I'm far more bothered by the lack-of-usb mass storage mode than I am bothered by copy/paste. I don't like being 100% reliant on proprietary sync software to use my device.
  • UglyandStupidPhone7
  • Hey, umm wow. That's genius level counter-intuitiveness there. Let's introduce a competitive product with FEWER features than Apple or Google. That's sure to make them fly off the shelves!
  • i was really looking for a computer phone. not a gameboy phone. or a little 'toy' for little teeny boppers to play there nintendobox games for the 2 hours they are away from home.
  • HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa unfrickinbeleivable, and I am what most people would call a MS fanboy. I thought it was ridiculous in this day and age when the Iphone couldn't cut-n-paste and am now totally incredulous at the incompetence of thought that MS thinks this is even remotely acceptable.
    I have waited for many, many years going through many PDA's and phones, always working around the gaps, sinkholes, and sandtraps that MS manages to engineer into their products to finally get my ultimate device, the HTC TP2 which is almost workable off the shelf. It looks like it will be one of the best of its kind which is not saying much for MS.
    I had so much hope for where windows mobile (Phone HaHa) 7 would take it. I even thought the Zune phone had great POTENTIAL but I should know by now that MS has always shown that they may get some of it but they never get all of it and its only their size, cash, and monopolistic practices that cover for their unmitigated disastrous sins.
    Right now, their social, media phone OS (7) may fit the bill and maybe a certain part of the people may even bond with it like the Iphone but it will not be long before it will be a Fad that is passed and like MS itself it does not seem to be built on bones that will be able to evolve quickly so I foresee MS mobile being worse off than before because if they are shooting to be Apple then they have sold themselves very short.
  • Yeah, keep digging that hole, Microsoft. This pretty much solidified the fact that my TP2 will be my last Windows phone I ever own. Good luck with that whole store thing as well, dicks.
  • so, now we know there are 3 or 4 phone lines from msft: turtle
    pink (unless this is just a variation from turtle, or vise versa)
    winmo 6.5
    winpho 7 series so, the obvious question is how will all four progress? what is the planned roadmap for these phones? more pointedly for this forum and given the reaction to winpho7 series from power winmo 6 users, what is the roadmap for winmo 6, specifically: 1. we heard months ago that winmo6 and winpho7 would coexist for a while - so, how long? 2. how many more updates are planned for winmo 6? 3. what is msft doing to keep developers with winmo6? 4. will we see snapdragon processors in other new winmo6 phones from samsung, htc, lg, etc.? 5. will there be more winmo6 standard updates and new winmo standard devices? 6. when does msft expect winpho7 to have regained capabilities dropped from winmo6? this is creating a marketing nightmare for msft: 1. droid does like campaign roles on - winpho's "no" but droid's a "go"! 2. everything is hinging on the social media hubs being popular as the only positive unique feature, but will it be enough to counter all the spin from appl and goog when they point to their strengths? 3. by loosing its faithful fanbase, winpho7 is like a brand new entry into the phone market - one in three or four winmo6 users might go to winpho7 *** big question: what is the percentage of winmo6's existing marketshare that will buy a winpho7 device??? *** bottom line: msft - hardware vendors read these forums too! if all of a sudden samsung has reason to doubt that their loyal samsung winmo6 users wil buy new winpho7 devices, it gets riskier for them to invest so heavily in winpho7. dieter / tim ferril, any chance you can get answers to these questions (above)? thank you in advance!
  • over on "istartedsomething" they have more info on"cut and copy" ireturning to the winpho7 at the os level, and not just in individual apps, as an update that is already in planned. so, why was copy and paste dropped from first release? - it couldn't be developed fast enough to make the code freeze deadline needed for devices to be in stores by 'the holidays'. i can see that lined up updates to winpho7 will come online pretty quickly, once the rolled out platform is deemed stable. after all, msft blazed the way with these features in winmo, so they have prior experiences to draw on. so, tim and dieter, what else is planned and just didn't make the code freeze deadline??
  • I guess I have to repost my reply in Dieter's post on notifications:
    _________________________________ [Edit: I've removed a misattribution I made to I Started Something. Nevertheless, ISS' article only cites "a person close to the den", who, "explained that copy & paste is definitely a scenario and feature that the team is putting a lot of thought about and hope to bring to the platform soon after initial release"; while Engadget quotes at least two Microsoft employees by name.] Yet another citation from Engadget: So let's set the record straight on what we were told, since it wasn't ambiguous in any way: Microsoft says leaving clipboard operations out was a conscious design decision based on user research showing that people don't actually use copy and paste very often, and that instead 7 Series features a systemwide data detection service which recognizes things like phone numbers and addresses so you can take action on them. Further: We also specifically asked if copy and paste was coming later and were told no, although we'd guess that it's at least being worked on for a future version. The article linked to above has a 3-minute interview with Todd Brix that makes it absolutely clear that (a) their consumer research tells them that users don't use C&P, and (b) they intend to use "smart linking" to anticipate what action the user wants taken with a selected piece of text. They are philosophically opposed to C&P, not technically challenged by it. Incidentally, Neil Patel mentions a "Mike" someone (I couldn't catch the last name) in the interview, which sounds like the person who confirmed the lack of C&P in the last Engadget post I cited.
  • guarantee, that since this announcement, MSFT will get flooded with e-mails, and phone calls, and see blogs like this with outrage and rethink this. Even not, one of their first updates, they will add the ability to do that. I think it is completely insane, and whoever made that decision is probably smoking crack, but the functionality will come. Its just odd that they would omit that feature when their legacy OS versions use it. I think it is a bit needed and good to have.
  • I'm terribly disappointed at the slew of restrictions and limitations have been imposed on WP7. There just doesn't seem to be any incentive left for me to get WP7 given that the features that it is dropping are what I use daily (copy-and-paste in Pocket Excel, Outlook, multi-tasking, sideloading and file system tweaking.) This really does feel like a 2nd gen iPhone cloned into wPhone, with some Microsoft specific features tagged on. They should have just called it the Zune Phone and leave it at that. I think it is time for me to really start looking into Android in earnest.
  • You cry babies just dont buy wm7 others will go buy. go buy android go buy iphone then watch yall come back
  • they have dropped everything good and killed the software base, so I had to decide a fresh which system I like and iphone and WP7 don't do it for me.Its just odd that they would omit that feature when their legacy OS versions use it. I think it is a bit needed and good to have.
  • The article linked to above has a 3-minute interview with Todd Brix that makes it absolutely clear that (a) their consumer research tells them that users don't use C&P, and (b) they intend to use "smart linking" to anticipate what action the user wants taken with a selected piece of text. They are philosophically opposed to C&P, not technically challenged by it. Incidentally, Neil Patel mentions a "Mike" someone (I couldn't catch the last name) in the interview, which sounds like the person who confirmed the lack of C&P in the last Engadget post I cited.