According to Prithvi Raj, Program Manager at Microsoft Corporation, "12 million phones were lost last year in the US alone." Those that have lost cell phones understand the pain associated with losing contact information, documents, and text messages. The experience of losing a phone is usually quickly followed by a search for services that will provide backups of phone data.
Microsoft recently announced a new service that is currently in beta called My Phone that aims to help users reduce the pain involved in losing a phone. The service provides a backup of contacts, calendar, appointments, photos and other information onto a Microsoft hosted secure Web site. If a user loses their phone and purchases another one, data can be easily migrated to the new phone. Unfortunately, only Microsoft Windows Mobile phones that run the latest Windows Mobile 6 operating system are supported. Let's take a look at some of the common questions about the My Phone service.
How does it work?
For those fortunate enough to have a Windows Mobile 6.x phone, visiting the My Phone home page will provide the ability to sign up for the service. Since the service is currently in beta form, users will be placed on a waiting list. Once signed up, a small piece of software will need to be installed on the phone. After installation, a user can select the information that needs to be backed up to the cloud. For the current beta, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Text Messages, Photos, Videos, Music, Documents and Storage Cards, can be backed up.
The service has two options for backup, Automatic or Manual. Users with an unlimited data package on their phone can select Automatic, and the phone will back up the selected data to the cloud once per day during off peak hours between 11:00pm and 5:00am. Even those without a data package can take advantage of My Phone. A user can select to manually back up the phone using a wireless connection to the Internet or by connecting the phone directly to a computer and using its internet connection.
After data is backed up, it can then be edited online. For example, a user can update calendar appointments, contacts, and documents online, and then re-sync those documents to their Windows Mobile phone.