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Microsoft drops another bombshell at MIX10

Two steps forward, one step back. That seems to be an emerging trend for Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series platform. The snazzy user interface, support for the XNA Framework/Silverlight/Adobe Flash 10.1, Windows Phone Marketplace, and plentiful device manufacturers to choose from are certainly pleasing to potential buyers. However, we're starting to learn a little bit more about the platform at MIX10 and it isn't all rosy.

Yesterday, we learned that Windows Phone 7 Series will not support true multitasking. Instead, the mobile operating system will support a push notification called Microsoft Notification Service (MNS). The MNS works almost exactly like the push notification system currently enabled on Apple's iPhone.

"How do you trade-off battery life at the same time? As soon as you allow arbitrary apps to do things in the background, it can run out the battery pretty quickly," said Microsoft's Scott Guthrie at a MIX10 roundtable according to Gizmodo.

Interestingly enough, Windows Mobile 6.x supports multitasking so it's a notable backwards move for the platform.

In another blow to power users -- and another feature that is present on current Windows Mobile smartphones -- is the news that copy and paste won't be supported initially at launch according to Engadget. Apple was lambasted for the lack of copy and paste on the iPhone and it wasn't until iPhone OS 3.0 that the feature was added to the smartphone. It's almost inconceivable that Microsoft would choose to show up late to the party (Q4 2010) without some semblance of copy and paste for its flagship mobile OS.

Microsoft hasn't ruled out that copy and paste may appear in later iterations of Windows Phone 7 Series operating system, but don't hold your breath expecting to see it in time for the Holiday '10 season.

Updated 3/17/2010 @ 6:32am EST
Engadget has confirmed that there is no copy and paste included in Windows Phone 7 Series:

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.



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an interesting development
By Fisher88 on 3/16/2010 8:50:01 PM , Rating: 3
it seems MS is having to do some of the same soul-searching in the name of the security and reliability of its device. copy and paste, a ubiquitous feature in desktop operating systems and apps, has some tricky security underpinnings it must be careful of for the device's operating system and installed apps to retain their integrity.

Apple had the same issues and apparently worked them out with copy and paste and same with multi-tasking.

I'm sure the MS device "can do" both, but just like Apple's device "can do" both. its just, finding a way to allow the device to do copy and paste and or multi-task without compromising its integrity is not a trivial programming problem to solve.

I'm sure MS must be getting as tired of people hacking its OS as those of us who have been hacked using their OS and, honestly, glad to hear MS is also doing something about it.

hopefully one less worry off its customer's plates, even if its initially viewed as a demerit.




RE: an interesting development
By 3minence on 3/17/2010 8:49:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, MS needs to focus on security and reliability first. If it doesn't work then I don't care how many features it has, it's useless junk. However, you need to look at your competition and make sure you have at least the same features as they do. Otherwise your starting the race from a disadvantaged position. All the competitors have (or will soon) cut-n-paste and multi-tasking. Hell, the reason they are moving to a new OS is because the old one couldn't compete with the competition.

I understand MS's stance on battery life, but it seems they are fighting an uphill battle.


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