Word circling ’round the Internet is that Windows Phone 7 Series is going to be running with several of the same limits that have shackled the iPhone, namely lack of cut/copy/paste and running multiple third-party apps, not to mention lack of removable storage and a centralized app store. It’s almost as if they want to make a mobile operating system that non-geeks will want to use.
Look, I’m not going to argue that these aren’t limits that ultimately need to be overcome, but let’s face it: they didn’t hinder the iPhone and actually helped it.
Lack of cut/copy/paste was a bit embarrassing for the iPhone, but you can’t tell me it wasn’t a challenge to implement it in a way that worked consistently across different apps in an all-touchscreen device. Microsoft is facing that same challenge now, and it doesn’t surprise me that they’ll need to see the OS in the field before finalizing a good c/c/p implementation.
WP7S will allow certain processes to run in the background, like music, but third-party apps will not run in the background in their full glory. That would slow down the device and eat up battery life, same as we see in Android and jailbroken iPhones. There’s a compromise to be struck here, and I think Microsoft is hitting it the right way. I’ve argued that Apple should, for example, allow plug-ins for the iPhone iPod app to play music in the background. Microsoft’s approach captures the essence of that request. Credit where it’s due on that.
Yes, it can be (and has been) argued that Microsoft should already have these problems licked having done so for years with Windows Mobile. But Windows Phone 7 Series is a whole new OS with a very different approach. Rather than be disappointed, I’m impressed that Microsoft is taking things one step at a time, rather than haphazardly throwing in everything they can. The focus is on quality of functionality, rather than quantity of functionality. Can’t say that approach hasn’t worked before.