A look at Windows Phone's 'smart links'

It's not copy and paste, but Microsoft insists it's a better option in most cases for the software to recognize an address or phone number and let you take action on it.

LAS VEGAS--When it comes to copy and paste, Microsoft argues that there's a better way of doing things on the phone.

Rather than include the feature in Windows Phone 7 Series devices (something many users say they want), Microsoft argues that a better approach is simply to offer so-called smart links--which recognize a block of text, such as a hyperlink, phone number, or address, and allow a specific action to be taken. For a phone number, such "smart links" would allow the number to be dialed. An address might get pulled up in the mapping program, while clicking on a hyperlink would open that page in the browser.

"We don't enable copy and paste and we do that very intentionally," Windows Phone executive Todd Brix said in an interview at Microsoft's Mix conference earlier this week. "It's actually an intentional design decision," he said. "We try to anticipate what the user wants so copy and paste isn't necessary."

Here's a look at the feature in action.

In the first image, from the text message folder, both an address and phone number are recognized as "smart links."

Ina Fried/CNET

In the second image, the address, once clicked on, brings up that photo in the built-in Bing Maps application.

Ina Fried/CNET

So what do you think? Does that meet your copy and pasting needs, or would you still rather have that as an option?

 

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