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Microsoft Readies MyPhone Service

Microsoft over the weekend acknowledged it is planning a service that will allow users of its Windows Mobile operating system to synchronize data on their devices with the Web.

The new service is called MyPhone and will be integrated with the company's Windows Live Services offering. The service appears to be an incremental step in Microsoft's overall strategy to enhance its Windows Mobile offering.

MyPhone will let users of Windows Mobile 6.x-based smartphones synchronize data on the device via a secure Web site. It will also let users access and edit contacts and schedules on the Web site and let individuals share photos, according to a description on the Windows Mobile MyPhone site.

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to reveal the company's strategy for bolstering its aging Windows Mobile platform at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona next week. Developers are anxiously awaiting Microsoft's plan to make Windows Mobile more competitive, as reported last week.

MyPhone initially will have limited benefits to enterprise users, according to the preview announced by Microsoft over the weekend. Individuals will be able to back up their phone settings and synchronize contacts, schedules, tasks, photos, videos, text messages, music, and documents between their devices and their MyPhone Web accounts.

For those who have Windows Live accounts, it will synchronize with the Windows Live site. Microsoft said it doesn't plan to charge for MyPhone for now, but mobile operators may charge fees for data transfer or other enhanced services.

The service will have some initial limitations, Microsoft explained. MyPhone services will not work with active connections to Microsoft Exchange Servers. It won't synchronize data on separate memory cards when using MyPhone's default settings, nor will it synch contacts on the device's SIM card. Users can only synchronize files stored in the main My Documents account, and free storage will be limited to 200 megabytes.

Microsoft wasn't immediately available for comment.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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