back to article Windows Phone 7 to get cut'n'paste shortly, says Ballmer

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 will get a significant update in a month or two, with faster task switching and the much-discussed ability to cut and paste between applications. The news was tucked away in the middle of Steve Ballmer's CES keynote, between lengthy tales of how impressed everyone is with Windows Phone 7 and a recap …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back to '85

    Wasn't the clipboard part of Windows 1.0?

    Next they'll be introducing overlapping windows as an exciting and revolutionary new feature.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Horns

      RE: Back to '85

      I wonder if they'll introduce other Windows features?

      Some good examples are:

      o Complete insecurity

      o Ability for (inexperienced teenage) hackers to take over your system

      o Buggy, bloated, messy software

      o Tendency for the OS to fragment the disc beyond all recognition

      o Loading large, bloated and unnecessary files at start-up (the Registry!)


      Based on my past experiences with MS products, I won't be going near this (or any of their other stuff, tbh).

  2. spegru

    In Common?

    So this is Windows?

    Makes you wonder how they managed not to include this radical new feature from day one?

  3. Steve Evans

    Symbian users waiting...

    Not such an issue? You've not had a UK country variant Symbian phone have you?!!!

    The network provided phones are bad, but at least you can shout at Orange et al... The UK CV is the closest we get to a generic Nokia, yet somewhere, someone decides when we get updates.

    Nokia don't care, they've got their money. The "tricks" to hacking a Nokia phone to make it a real generic Euro phone, and get access to the Nokia firmware when it is released is a banned subject in their forums. They'd rather you were stuck with year old firmware screaming abuse at the phone... Presumably going quiet once you escape your contract and buy something non Nokia!

    Anyway, I've counted to 10... Calm...

    Now I'm back to laughing at so called "smart phones" continuing to be released without basic copy and paste functionality... I do believe I had that on my Symbian Nokia 6600 back in 2003... Glad I don't have to wait for an update to get it!

    Note to self: add copy and paste to the feature checklist when you jump to Android in a few months.

    1. Neill Mitchell

      Variant creation

      So how's the variant creation project going at Nokia? One of my all time favourite and ultimately depressing ADP's.

    2. david bates
      Thumb Up

      No need.....

      ...Its there (in 2.2 at least - sure it was in 2.1 as well).

      and very nicely it works too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I had to jump through several hoops yesterday to allow me to copy and paste a section of one email (using the standard email app) into another. (2.1)

        And don't get me started about "forwarding a business card as text". Might only need to do these things once in a blue moon ... but when they aren't there it's so frustrating.

  4. Code Monkey

    Just like the iPhone


  5. Avatar of They
    Thumb Down

    At least they are keeping to the grand plan of copying Apple.

    Release a phone no one but MS can mess with but has lots of basic features missing. Make sure the walls are really great and everyone knows about them.


    State that you will release those features 'drip fed to the masses' by MS, no one else.


    Realise that the walls are not that great when someone cracks it and jailbreaks it.


    Make the first major release of the actually useful features 'copy and paste'


    What did Apple do next I can't remember?

    1. Silver

      Copying Apple is a smarter move than copying Google

      Having worked with Windows Mobile device for the past 10 years, it's interesting to sit here and watch Google and handset manufacturers make the same mistakes with Android that Microsoft and those same hardware manufacturers did many years ago with Windows Mobile. As such I'd rather Microsoft did copy Apple.

      When this update comes, all owners of the handset will get the update. Can the same be said for the next version of Android? Will all Android owners even get the recently publicised bug-fix regarding SMS messages when it's released? Doubtful.

      There have been plenty of articles on other (US-centric) sites chastising operators for not releasing those patches, but no-one seems to cottoned on to the fact that when _not one operator_ offers the update then maybe, just maybe, it's actually because the handset manufacturer doesn't plan on releasing it.

      Google only started decoupling their apps from the operating system less than 6 months ago because they suddenly realised that they weren't being updated because vendors were unwilling to issue updates to the operating system on the phones.

      Whereas Apple, Palm/HP and Microsoft realised that a long while ago and have ensured that they bypass the operators and the handset manufacturers to ensure that customers get the updates.

      1. SilverWave

        Windows Mobile device for the past 10 years: So you are a masochist?

        That was painful just to read... OMG the suffering the tears.

        >it's interesting to sit here and watch Google and handset manufacturers make the same mistakes with Android

        hmm 300,000 activations a day... yes I can see that they have got it so wrong. heh.

        >chastising operators for not releasing those patches

        Well its survival of the fittest - if you don't do your homework re which manufacturers are good at updating - before getting an Android and get no updates... well you will the next time :-)

        It certainly put HTC top of my list as they looked to be pretty good at pushing updates for the newer phones...

        Got a HTC Desire (on Orange) 6 months ago and love it... and I got the updates from 2.1 to 2.2 and just got 2.2 build 2.29.405.5 and the updates to the Android Market.

        Looking like a good choice so far, don't you think?

        I also fully expect to get at least 1 more update out of them as the Desire is so popular.

        Saying which I don't really expect many upgrades after the first year, if any at all really... and with how far the target hardware will have moved it wouldn't make a great deal of sense, no?

        So in short, if your phone doesn't get updated, remember the next time you are renewing your contract, no?

      2. Avatar of They
        Thumb Up

        Is copying google better?

        Let it be said I hate google for data mining and really don't trust Android, which is why I committed 'techy' suicide and went to the N900. Which really is the biggest turgid pile of doggy doings imaginable. But I was a winmo 5 and winmo 6 user for 5 years, liked the HTC offerings.

        I actually jumped ship in the end because T-mobile were not releasing the 6.1 upgrade for my phone. (tytn2) And I didn't feel running anti virus on a phone is the right way forward. That was 13 months ago, MS certainly were not thinking about avoiding carriers then. So I think certainly for me your last argument doth fall over for MS.

        Now I never buy a phone that is locked into a vendor, no point. The money doesn't add up in renting one from T mobile or vodaphone. Pay 400 now and then a tenna a month on contract and you save loads quid over an 18 month contract of 40 a month. That way I get updates when I want them and only have to talk to my carrier when their signal is pants or they keep sending me notifications of an MMS I can't pick up. I am free to walk when I want, free to choose a new phone when I want. There are no carrier bloatware (Nokia does try) and nothing that stops me updating what features I want. Everyone should do it.

        As I own outright the N900 I don't get any worthwhile updates anyway from Nokia as they only support it in name. But hey, I learned that lesson.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      >What did Apple do next I can't remember?

      Nokia got a bit upset about them using their compact antenna designs..... so Apple paid a furniture designer to knock one up in-house.

  6. hplasm

    Continuous upgrades?

    You need them when the base product keeps breaking.

    Stable products don't need them as much... Hmmm.

    1. Hi Wreck
      Jobs Horns

      Stable Products?

      The only stable thing coming from Microscoft is their earning-per-share "beat" each and every quarter. And even that's somewhat questionable.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Someone must care

    I heard down the pub that some bloke in Bristol bought a Windows Mobile 7 phone. I think he must have though it was Android or something...

  8. D. M
    IT Angle

    Not all bad

    At least MS can still manage to offer update to all customers.

  9. StooMonster
    Gates Horns

    "end users are the customer"

    Had to wipe a tear from my eye, what a joker.

  10. Nya
    Thumb Down

    Dull as dish water

    Decided to watch that entire thing...and it was dull as dish water. The only nifty stuff in the entire Ballmar display was Win7 and Office 2010 running on ARM, and the look at the new nVidia CPU which did go quiet nippy which was a surprise.

    The most annoying things was nothing really new. Ok, Win7 and Office on ARM...interesting but no real wow product. Surface v2, yes a lot better, and a load of new tricks, the pixal cam was pretty cool tech but how much, and when?! Kinect, that's last years thing even with the update coming to enable expression tracking.

    And so they come to the phone, up till then it had all been numbers. 8mil Kinects sold in 60 days, 50mil Xboxs, 30mil Live subscribers, 20% market share for Win7 blah blah...and the phone? There are 20 phones running Winmo7...thats the best you can say about it?! And a long demo of the wonders of cut and paste. Come off it, if they want the thing to sell it needs to keep on getting the updates and more of them, and faster. Great, 90% of people who buy one say they would recommend one...but MS needed to show where they were taken WinMo7. Not just stagnating it even further.

    Sadly the biggest problem was Ballmar, he is just not able to address the public. He tried making a bald joke in referance to his Kinect avatar and he fell so flat on his face. The stuttering and having to repeat certain lines in his demo didn't help either. Sadly for MS, he's just not the guy for this kind of thing. He just doesn't cut it for on stage performances. Stick him in the back room counting the pennies, or get rid of him. Really though he shouldn't go on stage like this ever again.

    1. Bilgepipe
      Gates Horns

      No Sales Figures

      You won't see any WP7 sales figures from MS, only meaningless channel-filling figures, a la XBox, because they'll be embarrassingly low. Why do you think they called it Windows Phone 7?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      20 phones running Windows Phone 7...

      ...that's 20 actual phones, not models of phone, right?

      All the other phones are in their box without a battery installed yet and as such aren't actually running anything.

    3. Hans 1

      There are 20 phones running Winmo7

      world-wide, that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      From what I hear

      I don't understand why Balmer's audiences don't laugh... or sleep... or walk out... or something.

      Is every single one specially screened?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They could easily add these sort of features without bothering the operators by simply decoupling everything: the user interaction parts from the system parts from the radio parts.

    The operators argument is that updates can affect their networks so make sure that the parts which can do that are isolated. This means you can freely update the rest of the device - UI, apps etc. without affecting them - and can demonstrate that fact to the operators to shut them up.

    Since WP7 uses .NET this shouldn't have been hard - keep as little native code as possible and run everything in .NET - even removes the likelyhood of security issues and, if any are found in the runtime, they can be updated quickly as the runtime and the radio parts/API should be decoupled.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Since WP7 uses .NET

      Does it?

      Oh... My... God...

      It's bad enough on the PC. Does that mean huge downloads followed by absurdly long install times, during which nothing tells you if the thing has crashed or not?


      .NOT if I can help it, thanks.

  12. Tom 101
    Thumb Down

    I wonder....

    ...If they will fix the stupidity of not being able to use static IP addresses on wifi? If you need to specify your own IP address, you can not, there is no user interface to set up these details manually. Not very good if anyone needs to use the phone in an office!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Your office doesn't have DHCP? Seriously?

    2. OffBeatMammal

      don't need to fix the phone for that...

      if you run DHCP in the office then you simply grab the MAC address from the logs and assign it a lease on the IP address you want. Reconnect and Bobs your Uncle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        DHCP is there, but choice is nice, isn't it?

  13. Ragarath

    I saw a title around here somewhere...

    Quote: "Windows Phone 7 hardware is also very standardised at the moment, but as faster processors and additional features get added (NFC will have to come at some point) then it gets harder to issue standard updates."

    May I ask why it gets harder? The phones without NFC or the next big hardware thing will just have a file or two (OK just more bloat) that does not do anything. It does not make it harder to roll out.

  14. Mark .

    Windows and Iphone years behind the competition

    My 6 year old dirt cheap feature phone had copy and paste. The only thing that's worse is that the expensive Iphone also lacked this basic UI feature for years - yet people praised it's UI as being good.

    "Symbian users are also forced to wait, though Symbian updates are generally less anticipated so it hasn't been such a high-profile problem."

    Not true, I get firmware updates no trouble. Although yes, it's true that they're less anticipated - Symbian has all the fundamental features like copy/paste and multitasking as standard, so there's no need to wait around for years.

    Re: Copying Apple is a smarter move than copying Google

    I think he was being sarcastic - it would have been better for users to simply have these basic features as standard, then you don't have to wait for updates at all.

    It's also odd to see people criticising Windows Mobile's market share. Nokia's market share makes Apple's look tiny, yet Iphone fans don't seem to have a problem with that (and Apple's share was even smaller in the past, but still no one had a problem with that). It reminds me of the way that Mac users sneer at Linux for small market share, yet don't have a problem with Windows vastly outselling Mac. Indeed, why is it that market share between Apple and Microsoft is seen as a key factor for comparing phones, but not for the desktop?

    1. chr0m4t1c


      >"Symbian users are also forced to wait, though Symbian updates are generally less anticipated >so it hasn't been such a high-profile problem."

      >Not true, I get firmware updates no trouble. Although yes, it's true that they're less anticipated - >Symbian has all the fundamental features like copy/paste and multitasking as standard, so >there's no need to wait around for years.

      Almost completely true, actually. If you have a (mainland) European unbranded Nokia you get your firmware almost as soon as it's released, if you have an unbranded phone from elsewhere (e.g. somewhere as far away as the UK) then you will have to wait anything up to three months before they finish the "language variant" for your model.

      If you have an operator branded model you will have to wait anything up to another six months for the operator to add their branding and apps then remove most of the useful features. And that's if the operator is still planning to carry the phone at the end of those six months, if not then you probably won't get the update or any future ones.

      For example, if you had an unbranded EU N97 you got v21 in February 2010, for UK models you had to wait until the end of March (not too bad), but if you had one from Vodafone you didn't get it until September (after the v22 had been released).

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    copy and paste...

    ... is and has been on WinMo phones since I staeted using them about 8 years ago. Just because you have to us the stylus or hold down a button to access it (it's in the menu you get when you hold the stylus til an animated circle appears), doesn't mean it's not there.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Nope, copy and paste, along with tons of handy features, were "removed" from WinPhone 7 because MS thinks no one uses it.

      Why I say WinPhone 7 steps a whole decade back to the PalmOS 5 days.

      I stll prefer my WinMo6 phone. Much more freedom to do what I want with it. No walled garden crap. And oh, it comes with an office suite pre-installed. I actually hate lugging laptops around.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Nope, copy and paste, along with tons of handy features, were "removed" from WinPhone 7 because MS thinks no one uses it."

        You able to quote Microsoft on that? Oh... is that BS I smell?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 months?

    so the challenge is going to be not if they can itterate, but can they get out of the cycle they have with their Enterprise software and itterate in 3-6 month "chunks" rather than the 2 years (or longer) that they are used to

    I can live without cut'n'paste for a few more weeks (but not another 6 months)

    I'm finding a lack of decent apps (why doesn't Bing look at Google Navigation on the Android and release something similar) and no background apps really annoying (want to listen to streaming music - even from your own server over WiFi - while checking email ... no can do)

    1. SilverWave

      My God some one actually bought one of these things? Really?

      Tell me you are joking...

  17. Steve the Cynic

    Wait! I use cut-and-paste every day...

    ... on my WinMob6.1 Samsung Omnia. OK, it's because I can't find the "template messages that are MY templates not some non-changeable preset crap" feature that my old V3i RAZR had, but I do it... (Start a message from the conversation view, copy previous, paste, send, job done).

    So it's a FAIL for WM6.1 for not having the feature I really want, and a FAIL for WP7 for only now providing the alternative feature that I use to work around the first FAIL.

    (If someone knows how to create my own template messages that work like the ones the RAZR had, please tell me!!!)

  18. dssf

    Copy and Paste, in a hand phone, so difficult for ms?

    I once owned a Sharp V-402SH, back in 2004, and that phone had copy and paste in it. It chould shoot pics to a friend i was trying to meet in an Ueno train station while we were talking. 3-pic triangulation and meet-up, while copying and pasting in the phone while walking. The phone also had an FM tuner, an analog TV antenna and, more. Stuff that is passe today was in that phone back then. Why was it so low a priority for ms (or any phone maker) to get copy and paste into a handset?

  19. Spoonguard

    Adding it should be easy

    They can just copy-and-paste it.

    oh wait...

  20. stim

    love it

    i have used my Windows Phone 7 (Samsung Omnia 7) since i got it in October - without question the best phone i've ever used - love it & welcome future updates :)

  21. Shane Kent


    I am still waiting on my Vista Ultimate Extras for Computer Enthusiast. They are done shipping crap for end users, when does the stuff for Computer Enthusiast come?

  22. David Pickering

    Copy and paste isn't something one uses every day

    really? i mean really? if u just want a phone, buy a phone.

    mines the one with an n900 in the pocket

  23. kain preacher

    W7 phone

    I've just now started to see ATT doing commercials for w7 mobile . I think ATT must be getting shafted by apple or some thing .

  24. tim-e


    I can't believe it didn't have copy pasta from the outset. Every user of other OSs has been screaming for it for years.

  25. Dest

    Ballmer has a delusional disorder

    I think Ballmer really believes all of the lies that he says.

    He believes that Microsoft is still number one and that people love both Microsoft and himself.

    He thinks that people still take him seriously and that his lies are motivational and inspiring.

    In my opinion they are pathetic and comical at best.

    Just hand over your money and Microsoft will fix everything for you, at a later date of course, maybe when they get around to it, if it doesn't cost them too much.

    They wouldn't just abandon something that their "valued customers" paid their hard earned money for, would they? (like they have done numerous times in the past).

    If you buy into the delusional lies that constantly come out of Steve Ballmers mouth then you must have a lot more disposable income than I do and be willing to throw it away on grossly over priced rubbish.

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