There’s a lot of chatter going on right now about whether or not cut-and-paste and true multi-tasking will ever make it into Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series platform. Well, today Microsoft themselves are getting a little more official – if just as vague – on the whole issue of which features may, or may not, make the cut for WP7. The folks at Redmond confirmed to Engadget today that the future of cut-and-paste functionality and multi-tasking is not completely out of the picture, but stopped short of mentioning when those features would get a chance to play with the new Windows Phone 7 playground.
This is what Microsoft has to say about cut-and-paste on Windows Phone 7:
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. 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.
As far as multi-tasking is concerned, Microsoft had this to say:
We are extremely pleased with the level of excitement we’re seeing for Windows Phone Developer Tools. When we decided to provide a Windows Phone 7 Series Emulator as part of the tools, we anticipated that people would attempt to unlock and explore the code. We have been very clear that the emulator is based on early code and is not reflective of the final user experience. Windows Phone 7 Series is still under development. The UI has been disabled to avoid confusion and allow developers to focus on testing applications on the underlying platform. We continue to recommend that developers use the emulator as provided to avoid any issues and unpredictability that may be introduced by an unlocked version.
We had a chance to get some additional info from Microsoft as well. In regards to the decision to keep third-party apps from having multi-tasking functionality in Windows Phone 7 Series, we were told that it was “by no means a policy decision.” While native apps will be allowed to run simultaneously (like the iPhone), Microsoft’s self-imposed timeframe for the launch of WP7S was the impetus for prohibiting global multi-tasking. Instead, Windows Phone 7 will initially focus on the paradigm shifting user experience, which includes long battery life, and give apps the ability to use push notifications and saved states rather than allow them to run in the background. Microsoft reiterated that the WP7 platform will “fully support multi-tasking.”
Keep in mind that a lot of copy-paste functionality won’t be required, as Windows Phone 7 takes advantage of contextual single-tap actions. Tap on a phone number and it calls the number. Tap on an address and you can view it on Bing Maps. That methodology should keep most users satiated until Microsoft can figure out how to bring global text copy features to its mobile operating system.
We’ll have more Windows Phone coverage from CTIA 2010 Las Vegas. Make sure to stay tuned!