Windows Phone 7 hobbled: Lacks copy and paste, full multi-tasking, microSD support

Microsoft's revealed that its latest operating system doesn't just lack a catchy name -- it's got plenty of other iPhone-esque handicaps too

Charles Kloet
2 min read

At the Mix10 developer conference, Microsoft revealed that its latest mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7 Series, doesn't just lack a catchy name and compatibility with Windows Mobile apps -- it also won't support full multi-tasking, copy and paste functionality, and microSD cards.

The operating system will support multi-tasking to an extent. As well as retrieving Web pages and email in the background, it will let you play music via the built-in Zune player while you're using another app, or check your calendar while you're making a call. But a third-party music app that uses its own technology, such as Spotify for example, won't run when you load another app.

Microsoft insists it's being cruel to be kind, though. In the Jobsian words of Microsoft's Charlie Kindel: "Apps that run arbitrarily in the background create an end-user experience where battery life and responsiveness of the system becomes... inconsistent." Android, we think he's talking about you.

The company also thinks it's doing us all a solid by omitting copy-and-paste functionality. A Microsoft executive told our dear US colleague Ina Fried that the operating system's 'smart linking' feature should suffice for most users, who, apparently, mainly want to copy and paste items such as email addresses and phone numbers. Smart linking lets you double click on a number to either call it or add it to the phone book, for example. You'll also be able to find an address on a map without needing to paste the address into a map app.

The lack of support for microSD cards, and user-replaceable memory in general, is another strange omission. All Windows Phone 7 Series handsets will have to sport a minimum of 8GB of built-in storage for media and apps, rather like the iPhone.

What do you make of these revelations? Do you feel like you've been transported back to 2007, when the similarly handicapped first-generation iPhone emerged? Will you be avoiding Windows Phone 7 like leprosy unless these features are included? Is it trying to be too much like iPhone, or going with what's proven to work? Let us know in the comments section below.