Microsoft was on hand at CTIA WITE 2009 to give various demos of their new Windows Mobile 6.5 OS. Part of that demo included an in-depth look at the free Windows Phone backup service known as “My Phone.” For those of you net yet familiar with the new Windows Mobile 6.5, let me tell you it’s basically what you’d expect from a Windows Mobile update that is only meant to bridge the gap to Windows Mobile 7. The fundamental problems with Windows Mobile are still there, but it’s been skinned with a decidedly more finger-friendly UI and some nifty cloud-based services (My Phone and Marketplace). It’s a good compromise until Microsoft can launch Windows Mobile 7.
So, how does My Phone work? We had a chance to get a hands-on demo from the Windows Phone booth at CTIA. My Phone backs-up your Windows Phone data (contacts, calendar, SMS text messages, photos, etc.), and it also allows you to manage your photos and media directly on the web. Think of My Phone as a backup utility that helps you offload media for distribution to social networks. Best of all, it’s free (mostly)!
My Phone also offers some MobileMe-like premium features for $4.99. My Phone can be used to remotely ring your phone (even if it’s set to vibrate only), locate your Windows Phone on a map, lock your smartphone to prevent use or even remotely wipe the data on the handset. Each $4.99 purchase is good for 7 days and allows you to use each feature a handful of times. We’d like to see the premium services offered for free, but considering that most people will probably never use any remote management features, $5 sounds like a good enough deal.
Because My Phone was only meant to backup data and offload media to the web, Microsoft gives My Phone users just 200MB of storage space. Remember, My Phone isn’t a storage solution, it’s a backup sync solution.