Microsoft Reveals More About Windows Phone 7

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has told developers more about its forthcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system. There'll be more tools for application creators to produce apps easily, while the firm has indicated it is aiming the system itself at the consumer rather than business market.

The details came at MIX10, an annual Microsoft event for developers. While Mix covers all aspects of online technology, mobile systems are becoming a more important part of the event as that market grows.

Copy And Paste Gets Cut

One revelation that's attracting a lot of attention among developers is that the system itself won't have a built-in "copy and paste" feature, or at least not in the "clipboard" style that's used on most PCs.

Instead, the system will be set up to recognize particular types of information such as a phone number or address on a website and then add contextual menus which appear with a single click; these provide functions such as adding a number to the phone's address book, or finding map directions.

App developers will also be allowed to include copy and paste within their applications. That was the system used for the early version of the iPhone operating system, but it was later dropped, partly because developers didn't use consistent methods for doing so. (Source:

The obvious drawbacks of the Windows Phone approach are that it only works where the designers have anticipated the use you want to make of data. It will also be impossible to select text of your choice and copy it to another application (for example, copying part of a webpage article and then including it in an email).

Extensive Business Sales Not Expected

Another surprising revelation was that Microsoft gave one of the starkest admissions yet that Windows Phone 7 will be a primarily consumer-orientated system. The firm's Charlie Kindel is reported to have said "We don't expect enterprises to go out there and buy these [Windows Phone 7 devices] en masse for their employees." (Source:

Ironically, those comments come shortly after the Wall Street Journal reported an estimated 10 per cent of Microsoft employees use iPhones, though those who work in the main Redmond, Washington offices are apparently quick to hide them away when senior executives pass by.

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