Microsoft: do users really want copy and paste on mobiles?

WIndows Phone 7 - multi-tasking overrated
WIndows Phone 7 - multi-tasking overrated

Microsoft has told TechRadar that it's not sure whether users want copy and paste or 'true' multi-tasking on Windows Phone 7.

Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for Microsoft, told us that the user experience has been prioritised over certain other elements of the platform:

"I'm not so sure users necessarily expect [copy and paste and multie-tasking] on Windows Phones - what they want is a user experience that does what they want it to do.

"We have a multi-tasking platform that supports threads of execution, and that accounts for many conceivable solutions on the mobile - when [most] people think of multi-tasking they want a couple of things: have a song keep playing while they browse the web or write a text, and we have that."

Multi-tasking not always good

There has been some criticism of Microsoft's plan to drop 'full' multitasking, allowing any third party application to run in the background, but Sullivan said this feature was something that ruined previous Windows Mobile experiences:

"[Full third party multi-tasking] was one of the challenges we've had in the past with Windows Mobile, and something we were rightly dinged for.

"How often would you launch multiple apps and the execution would continue and you'd run out of resource; or one of the apps in the background would destabilise the system and force you to reboot."

Sullivan did intimate that Microsoft was looking to increase the amount of third party applications that were supported, and said Apple's model was something to aspire to:

"We're looking to expand the range of scenarios [to allow third party apps] we cover, perhaps something a la Apple - maybe they have a couple more than we do right now, but our focus is on delivering a very stable, quality product."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.