Two interesting stories came to light today – first that Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Series OS won’t support multi-tasking and that Microsoft plans to eliminate it altogether, and second that Windows Phone 7 Series won’t support copy/paste.
That’s right, you heard both of those statements correctly. Both of them have been published widely and confirmed by Microsoft. On the one hand, Android and Blackberry fans rejoice, you’ve got the only smartphone OSes that do both, but the irony stings hard and deep on this one. iPhone detractors and Apple haters have been crowing about how horrible the iPhone is because it doesn’t support multitasking, and prior to a last year, the iPhone and iPod Touch didn’t support copy/paste either. It was a highlight point for people looking to beat up on Apple in general and the iPhone in specific.
The interesting question for me now is whether or not those same haters will turn on Microsoft now that their highly regarded and anticipated mobile OS will come out “crippled” in the same way, to use their word, not mine. The lack of these features made Apple a target not just for people who didn’t like the company and loved Microsoft, but for people who didn’t like the company and didn’t care for Microsoft either.
In any event, I see why Microsoft is doing this – it’s the same reason Apple does: they want to control every possible aspect of the user experience. They want to get rid of multitasking because the iPhone has been a success without it (in this regard, people would be right to blame Apple – they have managed to make their product a success without the features that a vocal minority have been crowing and whining about) and they want to be able to similarly control the user experience. As for copy/paste, this is proof that all of the people who have said “it’s not as easy as you guys think it is” are absolutely correct. Even the implementation in Android is cludgey.
Even so, Windows Phone 7 Series looks impressive, and I still think Microsoft is headed in the right direction. The irony, however, is deafening. I can happily say though that while those features will be missed, I have no intention of bashing Microsoft or dismissing the potential of Windows Phone 7 as a result of them being missing.