12:15 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry

More Windows Phone 7 Details

Microsoft has had a number of cloud services for Windows Mobile and/or PC's and as Windows Phone 7 nears release, some of those services are getting a facelift to better match them with a mobile lifestyle.

Microsoft has had a number of cloud services for Windows Mobile and/or PC's and as Windows Phone 7 nears release, some of those services are getting a facelift to better match them with a mobile lifestyle.Search is definitely important on a phone and Microsoft owns its own search engine, Bing. Bing, which just rose to 12.7% share in the search market by the way, will be available on Windows Phone with the press of a single button.

Microsoft also has a number of cloud services wrapped up in the Live branding. Today Microsoft announced the Windows Phone Live Companion. Tied to the SkyDrive service, WP7 users will have an area to store up to 25GB of pictures, their Windows Live Calendar and Contacts and OneNote files. The SkyDrive site will be connected to your Windows Live ID so you'll easily be able to move data from your PC to phone and back without the need for USB cables.

Current Windows Mobile users have the MyPhone service which backs up critical data such as contacts, appointments, files, internet shortcuts and more. The MyPhone service can also allow you to ring your phone remotely if you've lost it somewhere in your house. If you left it somewhere, it can show it on a map based on the latest location data stored on the phone. Finally, if you think the phone has been stolen, you can lock it or erase it so at least the new owner doesn't have your information.

I am not sure what is happening with the backup service, but the remote access/wipe services will be moved to the Windows Phone Live Companion that you can access from your desktop. Hopefully the backup service will remain in one form or another.

Microsoft still refuses to announce an availability date, other than to say it will be here in time for the holidays. The only thing we have more precise than that is one VP's statement that October was the scheduled release month.

Initially, English, French, Italian, German and Spanish will be supported across 17 countries, including Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Switzerland and others.

Microsoft's cloud integration could be very interesting if done right. They had some false starts with services like Mesh that synchronized folders on your phone with folders on your PC. Mesh is being dismantled to be replaced with another sync service, one that I've not heard if WP7 support will be available for or not. However, with Windows Phone Live Companion as announced today and additions over time, it could set the mobile platform apart from its competition.

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