Microsoft is making cross-device Copy and Paste exclusive to Samsung's latest flagship smartphones: Updated with explanation

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Last year Microsoft partnered with Samsung for an improved version of the Your Phone app which was not dependent on Bluetooth LE in your PC and which supported screen sharing with many fewer hassles.  In return, the Link to Windows shortcut was featured prominently in the notification shade.

Now it appears the cosy relationship is continuing with Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, with Microsoft saving exclusive features for those devices.

According to support documentation (found by WindowsLatest) on Microsoft’s site, cross-device Copy and Paste will be reserved for Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip devices only.

The site notes:

Which devices support cross-device copy and paste?

Cross-device copy and paste is supported on Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20+, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip devices only.

The feature will allow the copy and paste of text (with formating if supported) and images (less than 1 MB, else they will be resized) to and from your Windows and Android device, using the same shortcuts and tools currently supported on both devices.

To enable it users merely need to go to Settings > Cross-device copy and paste and enable “Allow this app to access and transfer content I copy and paste between my phone and PC.”

Of course, ultimately Microsoft made the features exclusive to Samsung last year available to all after a few months, so I think the exclusivity is not a particularly big deal, and will help Microsoft recruit Samsung’s help to strengthen the cross-device PC and smartphone ecosystem significantly, which is much more important than delivering this new feature to everyone at once.

Do our readers agree? Let us know in the comments below.

Update: Roberto Bojorquez,  Microsoft Group Program Manager for Your Phone, has now tweeted an explanation, and unfortunately its bad news. According to Roberto, the feature is exclusive to Samsung handsets as it requires special integration by the OEM, we assume for permission purposes.

This may mean that Microsoft will need to make a special deal with each OEM, and that it is unlikely he majority of Android handsets will be supported, and in addition, even Samsung handsets would need a software update to enable the feature. The later was more or less confirmed by Roberto who said an OS update would be needed for Samsung to bring the feature to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

More about the topics: microsoft, samsung, your phone