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Microsoft on copy and paste in Windows Phone 7 Series: 'people don't do that'

Nilay Patel
03.17.10
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Microsoft certainly set off a firestorm of controversy yesterday with the revelation that Windows Phone 7 Series won't have copy and paste, since it doesn't necessarily line up with what the company has said in private before -- and the issue seems to have gotten even more clouded as people have started hacking around the emulator. 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. Third-party apps can hook into this service, so that an email address can be routed to the email client of your choice, but there's no copy and paste functionality. We specifically asked about Office and OneNote, and we were told that Microsoft's research shows that people mostly want to view and comment on documents, not move things around. 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. Don't take it from us, though -- listen to Microsoft's Todd Brix for yourself:

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