Windows Mobile 6.5 is officially official today. We know it’s hard to stop drooling over all the cool new Windows Phones that have been launched or announced over the past couple days, but Microsoft wants you to know that their free My Phone over-the-air backup and storage service is now ready to give Windows Mobile fans a little peace of mind, not to mention an easy way to offload and manage all your text messages and cameraphone photos. If you already have an AT&T PURE, you probably know what we’re talking about. If not, keep reading for the low-down on My Phone.
The My Phone service is Microsoft’s new backup service offered to Windows Phones powered by the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system. Available as a free download from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile (or Marketplace, for short), My Phone helps you backup info (like contacts and calendar), share photos, migrate to new phone, access and manage content online (text messages, photos, etc.) and, to a lesser extent, store media over-the-air to the “cloud.” If you should ever switch to a new Windows Phone or, heaven forbid, lose your shiny new handset, all you have to do is restore all your data through My Phone’s secure servers.
My Phone also allows Windows Phones to make ringtones and easily offload photos from your handset to the web. You can actually upload almost whatever you want to your My Phone account and manage them from the web. From there, you can share your photos to your Windows Live account or any other social network (Flickr, Photobucket, etc.) you want to blast your cameraphone pics to.
There’s also a premium side to My Phone that helps it compete with some of the iPhone’s optional MobileMe service. For $4.99, Microsoft will ring your phone (even if it’s on vibrate), locate phone on a a map, lock your phone or wipe your phone remotely. Every purchase is good for 7 days.
But, you only get 200MB of free space. That means you won’t want to use My Phone as a storage service outright. Think of My Phone as a backup service and an easy way to get photos from your phone to the web. Microsoft says that My Phone less than 5% of users are hitting the 200MB limit, so it’s not really an issue for most people. Still, they’re considering offering a premium service with more storage capacity.
My Phone doesn’t offer the push email, contacts and calendar sync that MobileMe provides, but it comes close. Considering the service is mostly free, My Phone makes Windows Mobile 6.5 all the more attractive. We’ll make sure to give it a spin and post up our impressions. Stay tuned!