The Story of Copy and Paste

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The “Windows Phone Blog” brought us an article yesterday, entitled “10 questions for the “queen” of copy and paste.”  Priyanka Singhal was the engineer in charge of bringing Copy and Paste to the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Here is a snippet from the article:

Q: First, I have a confession: copy and paste isn’t a phone feature I use much. But I know many folks are passionate about it. What am I missing?

A: Let’s say your wife sends you an appointment to your daughter’s piano recital, and now you want to save that address in your address book. Or you find something on the web that’s really cool and want to send it to a friend in an email. Or you get an email and you want to quote it in an SMS. Or you want to look up a tracking number—basically anything you want to save or share but don’t want to type again. Your phone should be able to take that burden away from you.

Q: In your previous job, you worked on text editing features like copy and paste on the desktop. How is a phone different?

A: On your desktop you can do things like Paste Special, Select All, Cut. On a phone, more options means more complexity, so you need software that can make the best choice for you. Which means you need to understand your users better and not just say, “Here’s a bunch of choices.” The phone should take away the complexity and make life as simple as possible.

Q: So you’re saying that behind the scenes copying and pasting isn’t as simple as it looks.

A: It is complex. To someone using the phone, it just works. But to make it “just work” you have to make sure that all applications on the phone support the same functionality. That takes a large amount of coordination. Creating copy and paste involved how many teams? Probably 9 to 10 from inception to shipping. A lot of people have a stake and a lot of people have opinions. Making sure that everybody shares your thoughts, understands your vision—that’s the most challenging and most rewarding part of this job.


Click HERE to read the entire article.

More about the topics: copy and paste, microsoft, windows phone 7, windows phone blog