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Microsoft Bug Handhelds Windows Technology

Microsoft Explains Windows Phone 7 'Phantom Data' 270

Fuzzy Eric writes "Microsoft has confirmed that some handsets running its Windows Phone 7 software are sending and receiving 'phantom data.' The problem surfaced in early January with some owners of phones running Windows Phone 7, claiming that their phone was sending 'between 30 and 50MB of data' every day; an amount that would eat into a 1GB allowance in 20 days. Microsoft said its investigation found that most problems were caused by a unnamed 'third party' service. It said that the problem seemed to only affect 'a small (low single-digit) percentage of Windows Phone customers.'"
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Microsoft Explains Windows Phone 7 'Phantom Data'

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  • Re:NSA (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:58AM (#34938818)

    What a piece of crap. Or do you think the NSA is incapable of making sure any covert channels aren't accounted for when calculating traffic?

    No, this is either MS trying to shift the blame away from them, or just trying to avoid litigation or offending some partner.

  • 3rd Party? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stenchwarrior ( 1335051 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:05AM (#34938890)
    Can it still be considered 3rd party if the company that generated the "phantom data" was contracted by either the carrier or Microsoft to develop the app to intentionally run up the quota, hopefully going unnoticed and generating overage charges? My ex-bank, 5th3rd [] has a class-action lawsuit against them for doing something similar.
  • It gets better (Score:5, Interesting)

    by qmaqdk ( 522323 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:07AM (#34938902)

    Apparently* it's an external problem and there will be "no need for a system software update." [].

    Makes you wonder about who can do what with your Windows Phone 7...

    *As I noted in my submission. Which was earlier. WTF editors!?

  • by confused one ( 671304 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:17AM (#34939038)

    I'm glad y'all RTFA and saw where it said

    "We are in contact with the third party to assist them in making the necessary fixes," a spokesperson said. The firm also said that it was looking into "potential workarounds" until the issue was solved.

    fwiw, there's evidence that one potential culprit was a yahoo mail client

  • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) * on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:27AM (#34939164)

    We found the problem. It wasn't our fault, and it doesn't matter because it's not happening to anyone. (lie)

    Until Microsoft say which service causes this (so it can be independently verified by users) then you just have to assume that it is a lie. Normally I like to give the benefit of the doubt (and it does seem feasible that a 3rd party app is responsible, but like you said, this follows the standard style of PR spin that most companies employ.

    This would not be a problem if the mobile OS actually valued the customer over the developers and phone companies. My last Symbian phone prompted the user to give permission to any app that wanted to access the Internet. No spyware under the guise of a game here, no 3rd party services chewing up quota, no apps being just thin layers over websites.

    I hate seeing that circle animation that says data access is happening on my iPhone for something that shouldn't need it. Even worse, I hate the fact that on the iPhone the developer can turn off that display so you don't know if any connection has occured. Evil. I presume that the Windows Phone does the same thing.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @10:57AM (#34939534)

    This is how typically MS depicts success when it isn't. 1.5 million Windows phones have been sold to retailers and carriers, not to consumers. Considering that Dell, Garmin-Asus, HTC, HP , LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba and Qualcomm all made phones and they were launched on the networks: AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, SFR, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telstra, T-Mobile USA, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone, Telus, Bell Canada and SingTel, 1.5 million is abysmal. That's on average 100,000 per carrier and 160,000 per manufacturer. Remember that number also represents units that were given to MS employees. If I understand the process, MS employees could buy a phone and the company would reimburse them.

    In this history of MS, they launched the Zune the same way. They showed great sales figures for the 2006 holiday season but what they didn't make clear was those were units shipped to retailers not sold to consumers. They also didn't disclose that for several months after that they shipped virtually no Zunes because the retailers were fully stocked. In the end, retailers had to get rid of the Zunes mostly at huge discounts.

  • by hAckz0r ( 989977 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @11:19AM (#34939828)
    My bet is the "Windows Live" service. Why? The one complaint I saw with anything significant to say was a person complaining that they had everything turned off *except* for their Facebook sync through 'Windows live'. My bet, chances are that the Sync is pulling over all the images and bitmaps along with the web updates, and not pulling over just the delta changes to them. Perhaps its a re-download service, not a true sync.

    If At&T is the primary service then Windows Live is a third party to that service. Since Microsoft did not name themselves as the culprit, they are in fact an Unnamed service. And of course why would Microsoft want to piss off their own their own management, or worse, to let potential buyers know what the real problem is?

  • Carrier? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kellyb9 ( 954229 ) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @12:28PM (#34940674)
    I'm going to preface this by saying that I don't really know a single person who has this phone, but phantom 3rd party data seems like is would be software installed by the carrier. MS just doesn't want to throw whoever the carrier is under the bus. When I got my Droid phone, there was a bunch of bloatware installed by Verizon. That's just my guess... it could be the NSA or the FBI or NASA for all I know.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury