Monday, February 16, 2009
Microsoft's My Phone Service
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Software" @ 07:02 AM
I posted about My Phone last week, but my understanding of it was incorrect - which is kind of funny given that I was part of a briefing about it at Mobius in late 2008. What can I tell you other than it's painful to try to keep track of all these Microsoft "sky-codename" services.
My Phone is, currently, strictly a backup program. It's not "Exchange for everyone else" like I thought, though clearly the team is thinking along those lines. At launch, My Phone is simply a way to keep your contacts, calendar, tasks, text messages, photos, videos, music, and documents backed up to Microsoft servers so, in case of phone loss or damage, your stuff will be protected. It's not a cloud sync tool like I first thought, but the pieces are certainly there to allow for that. It's not a substitute for a program such as Spb Backup [affiliate] for instance, because it won't keep an image of your device with all your programs installed.
Document types supported for sync are ppt, xls, doc, one, wks) as well as txt, rtf, pdf, html and xml. It's kind of curious that it wouldn't just allow you to specify a folder and take everything in it. It will work over WiFi, so if you have a limited data account you can use WiFi for your initial sync then use your data plan for updates beyond that.
At launch, Microsoft is offering 200 MB of storage, and the service is free. Right now it's advertising driven, but it's simple enough for Microsoft to add carrier branding and you'd have "Verizon My Phone" or something similar. It will work with any Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1 smartphone, both Standard and Professional devices. If your phone already has Exchange sync, that takes priority over your Contacts / Calendar / Tasks, which makes sense. Multiple phones are going to be supported - apparently it's going to be as many as you want. I suspect that 200 MB is per account though, not per phone, so if you have four phones you'll still have 200 MB total. Premium accounts with more storage is an option Microsoft is considering. After the break are some screen shots of My Phone.