Microsoft Opens My Phone to Public Beta

Microsoft's My Phone automatic data backup service is now a public beta. Formerly known as Skybox, My Phone backs up mobile phones to password-protected Web accounts.

Microsoft announced May 19 that its My Phone service is now a public beta.

The Microsoft My Phone service, formerly known as Skybox, enables users to automatically back up contacts, photos, video, calendar, text messages and more from their phones, the Microsoft said. User data gets backed up to a password-protected Web account, allowing individuals to restore information easily to a new device.

Microsoft opened My Phone up as a private beta in February and is now providing the service to the public at large to test and play around with. The company said the My Phone service is now available in all 25 Windows Mobile languages.

Microsoft officials said in 2007, more than 8 million cell phones were lost in the United States alone, with an estimated one-third of those never recovered. Thus, experts say the best way for users to protect their information is to regularly back up phone data, Microsoft said.

My Phone enables users to:

"??Ç back up and restore a phone's information to a password-protected Website;??Ç access and update contacts and appointments through a Web account; and??Ç share photos on the phone with family and friends."

Microsoft does not charge a fee for the My Phone service at this time. Each account is allowed up to 200MB of free storage on the Microsoft My Phone site.

Microsoft said all users with Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1 phones can download and use the My Phone service immediately here.