Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Series will lack the ability to cut, copy and paste text, similar to Apple's iPhone, upon that device's release. In its place, users will be able to perform a single-tap action. The Windows Phone 7 Series will also lack other features upon its release, including Adobe Flash support and the ability to run mobile applications built for Windows Mobile and previous versions of the company's smartphone operating system. Microsoft is working with Adobe, however, to eventually bring Flash support to the devices.
Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series will not allow users to cut,
copy and paste text, adding to a list of other features-including Adobe Flash
support-that the company's newest smartphone operating system will lack when it
rolls out to consumers and businesses later in 2010.
"Windows Phone 7 Series will not initially offer copy and paste,"
a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK on March 17.
"Instead, we try to solve the most common uses for copy and paste via
For example, the spokesperson continued, "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."
This method, apparently, drew a positive response in early testing, the
Microsoft spokesperson added, although the company is apparently prepared to
leverage feedback to improve that particular feature set.
The initial devices in the Windows Phone 7 Series may also lack Adobe Flash
support, according to Microsoft, although CEO
Steve Ballmer assured the audience at a Feb. 15 press conference in Barcelona,
Spain, that "we have no objection" to Flash, which is used by many popular
Websites to power their rich content.
With no definite timeline announced for Flash support, Microsoft
and Adobe have nonetheless been collaborating to integrate Flash Player 10.1
into Internet Explorer Mobile on the Windows Phone 7 Series
. Mike Chambers,
Adobe's principal product manager for developer relations for the Flash platform,
wrote in a March 9 posting on his personal blog, "I don't have an ETA or
other specifics right now, but it is something that both Adobe and Microsoft
are working closely together on."
Integration of Adobe Flash into mobile devices has become an unexpected hot
topic of discussion among the tech community in recent weeks, after a January
"town hall" meeting at Apple headquarters in which CEO
Steve Jobs allegedly suggested that Flash's buggy nature was the reason it had
been excluded from both the iPhone and the upcoming iPad tablet PC. Jobs also
insisted that HTML5 would be the Internet's future for delivering rich content
In response, a member of Adobe's marketing team wrote in a Jan. 27 corporate
blog posting, "Without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to
access the full range of Web content, including over 70 percent of games and 75
percent of video on the Web."
Apple's position led a number of companies hoping to compete in the mobile
space, including Hewlett-Packard, to emphasize that their own devices will include
full Adobe Flash support. "With [our upcoming tablet PC], you're getting a
full Web browsing experience in the palm of your hand. No watered-down
Internet, no sacrifices," Phil McKinney, HP's vice president and chief
technology officer for the Personal Systems Group, wrote in a March 8 posting
on the company's Voodoo blog. "A big bonus for [our tablet PC] is that,
being based off Windows 7, it offers full Adobe support."
Flash support or no, Windows Phone 7 Series will make a clean break from
other technologies as well. During the Mix 2010 conference in Las
Vegas, Microsoft executives emphasized that current
Windows Mobile applications would not be compatible with the new smartphone
"We do recognize that there are a lot of folks who have been writing apps
for Windows Mobile for some time," Larry Lieberman, senior product manager for
Microsoft's Mobile Developer Experience, told
eWEEK in a March 15 interview
. "But we recognize that the landscape
has changed, and as we've been looking at stuff, we had to drastically change
our game, and really the only way to do that was to look at what we were
offering and what we could do to address this in a competitive accelerated
Windows Phone 7 Series will utilize Silverlight and XNA to allow developers
to build applications and 3D games for the upcoming Windows Phone Marketplace.
However, Microsoft has also taken pains to insist over the past few weeks that
it intends to continue supporting Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Marketplace
Apple's iPhone also lacked copy/cut/paste upon its release, although the company
later offered that functionality in an update. It had been long requested by
many users, particularly those who use their smartphones more in the manner of
ultraportable desktops. Given the iPhone's success before that update, though,
it stands to reason that Windows Phone 7 Series lacking copy/cut/paste will not
exactly be perceived as the deciding factor in whether the smartphone operating
system proves a success.