Screen Capture has been around for many years and has been a vital option for the majority of users from the PC to the Mobile World. I personally use that little PRTSCR key on my laptop a lot for many reasons from taking screenshots of my applications to showing off, an image from the web I didn’t want to download; but which I knew, I would be editing – or video conferencing with my teenage children, that live out of state, and take a screenshot to do a little funny Photoshopping with them and many other reasons, when taking a screenshot saves me time.
When it is all said and done, screenshots are a useful part of life much the same way as copy and paste, imo!
In an interview at CES with Aaron Woodman, director of Microsoft’s mobile communications business, CNET asked Microsoft about adding a screenshot utility to the Windows Phone 7 devices and the following was the answer:
I have never sat in a user group–and I sit in a lot of user groups, a lot of retail groups–I’ve never heard an end user go ‘why can’t I take a screenshot of that?’.
According to Woodman, it’s also not always the users who help Microsoft determine which features need to be fast-tracked. “We do a lot of things for reporters,” Woodman said. “I would argue things like the Mac connector software–the software that lets you take your Windows Phone and connect it to an Apple PC of some form, and basically pull over music from iTunes and photos and that kind of stuff–it wasn’t built because we thought there was a significant market opportunity for Mac loyalists out there who were dying to buy a Windows Phone. It was built because reporters would show up with Macs,” Woodman said.
Well ahead of a screenshot tool is a laundry list of features Microsoft plans to add, including the ones competitors have already put out, which Woodman referred to as “gaps.”
Something that would let you snap photos of text conversations is one thing. Where Woodman said some problems could arise is with capturing certain types of content if there’s copy-protection involved.
The other half of the equation, Woodman explained, is that developers who wanted to take screenshots of their applications have had the means since the introduction of the Windows Phone 7 SDK. “There’s a ton of ways to do it within the emulator, so application developers have no problem with that,” Woodman said.
“The reality is, we have a DRM requirement for our marketplace, which makes things like HDMI and those types of things out, more difficult,” Woodman said. “We’ve made a choice to have a more protected set of content on the phone and available to consumers, so we do have restrictions within that,” he said.
Woodman said the feature could end up in a future build of the OS software though. “Not that we couldn’t technically do it. I mean, at the end of the day it’s software,” he said. “We could definitely choose to do screenshot capabilities if you’re not in these three experiences.”
In short, if you are looking for Screen Capture in Windows Phone 7, it’s not happening anytime soon! When will Microsoft actually listen to it’s users and add the features most requested!
Wouldn’t you like to be able to say, Windows Phone 7 was my idea too!
View the original CNET article to read the full interview.