Mobile
Commentary
2/4/2011
12:09 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Yahoo! And Microsoft Pointing Fingers Over Data Consumption

Some Windows Phone users have been complaining about excess data usage. Microsoft has found the main issue and it turns out it is with Yahoo!'s IMAP email. Yahoo! fired back saying that no other devices have a problem with their email service, so it must be Windows Phone. Turns out that isn't true, so Yahoo! has a bit of egg on its face.

Some Windows Phone users have been complaining about excess data usage. Microsoft has found the main issue and it turns out it is with Yahoo!'s IMAP email. Yahoo! fired back saying that no other devices have a problem with their email service, so it must be Windows Phone. Turns out that isn't true, so Yahoo! has a bit of egg on its face.A few weeks ago, Microsoft confirmed it had solved the biggest cause of the problem. At the time, they would only say it was a third-party solution and were working on a fix and potential workarounds. For some users, the data consumption was pretty big, tens of megabytes a day, which, when combined with normal usage, can eat up a 2GB monthly plan if you aren't careful.

Earlier this week, Microsoft let the cat out of the bag. The culprit was the interaction of the Windows Phone 7 email client and Yahoo!'s IMAP servers. They have committed to providing a fix and in the mean time, gave a list of steps to help affected users work around the issue.

At this point, that should have been the end of it, right? No. Yahoo! couldn't let Microsoft have the last word. Yahoo! pointed the finger right back at Microsoft saying that no other email client has this problem so the issue isn't their email servers, it is Microsoft's client.

Well, now the internets are intrigued by all of this back and forth and starts to investigate this. WithinWindows did some poking around and found that the iPhone suffers the same fate. They conducted a simple test where the IMAP server should have returned up to 14 fields if they all existed. In addition to those queried, Yahoo!'s IMAP server returned seven extra fields.

While none of this explains an extra 20-50MB of data per day, it does appear to spread the blame around a bit. Maybe next time Yahoo! is involved in an issue like this they will respond a bit more graciously and simply thank Microsoft for being a valuable partner and that they look forward to ensuring their users have the best experience possible.

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