Microsoft claims to have discovered the cause behind a mysterious Windows Phone 7 data drain, placing blame on an unnamed third-party application.
Microsoft claims to have discovered the source of a mysterious "data
drain" on Windows Phone 7 handsets: an unnamed third-party application
configured to download unexpectedly large amounts of data.
Microsoft has contacted "the third party to assist them in making the
necessary fixes," a
company spokesperson told the BBC Jan. 20
, also indicating that a
workaround is in development. Microsoft is claiming the issue affects only a
single-digit percentage of Windows Phone 7 users and that an investigation is
under way to uncover any additional causes behind the drain.
Some of those users had previously reported their phones sending relatively
significant amounts of data per day-at rates ranging from 2MB to 5MB per hour
to between 30MB and 50MB of data within a 24-hour period-compelling Microsoft
to look into the problem.
"We are investigating this issue to determine the root cause and will
update with information and guidance as it becomes available," a Microsoft
spokesperson wrote in a Jan. 11 e-mail to eWEEK.
Reports differed over how many users were affected.
"This is a curiously common problem, and I'm sort of shocked Microsoft
hasn't addressed this publicly yet, either to confirm it or offer a fix,"
Paul Thurrott, curator of the Supersite for Windows, wrote
in a Jan. 2 response
to one user allegedly experiencing unexplained data
drain. "Basically what's happening is that the phone is utilizing the 3G
data connection even when Wi-Fi is available. It's not clear what app(s) or
part(s) of the OS is causing this, but it's definitely widely reported."
Microsoft is planning a series of Windows Phone software updates that will
supposedly tweak the platform for better performance and introduce
cut-and-paste. During this January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas, Microsoft executives demonstrated how a Windows
Phone 7 handset with the update booted an app twice as fast as one without;
however, they cautioned, speed improvements will vary by app or game.
Currently available only on GSM-based networks such as AT&T and
T-Mobile, Windows Phone 7 is scheduled to appear on CDMA networks such as
Sprint and Verizon sometime in the first half of 2011. Microsoft claims some
1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units have been sold by manufacturers to retailers,
although it remains reluctant to reveal how many of those devices trickled down
into consumers' hands. In a recent interview with the blog Pocket-lint, an LG
Electronics executive termed the smartphone platform's initial launch "less
than we expected."
LG Electronics has been building initial Windows Phone 7 devices along with
Samsung, Dell and HTC. Microsoft hopes the
smartphone's user interface, which consolidates Web content and applications
into a series of subject-specific "Hubs," will allow the company to
reclaim mobile-device market share from the likes of Apple and Google, which
have made aggressive plays in the space over the past several quarters.