Web & communication software

Microsoft Opens up Mobile Backup Application to All

Microsoft is now letting anyone download My Phone, a mobile data backup program for Windows Mobile devices, which was released in February as an invitation-only beta.

My Phone can be installed on most Windows Mobile 6 phones and is intended to let people restore all of their data on a new device if their old one is lost.

The application is free, but users could incur data charges from their operator depending on their service plan, since the application synchronizes photos, videos, documents, contacts, music, calendar appointments and even text messages.

Data is stored on a Microsoft Web site, where each user gets 200MB of storage. The recommended settings will backup data between the phone and Web account between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., when the phone is least likely to be in use, according to Microsoft.

There are a few quirks, however. If someone has an active connection going with an Exchange server, My Phone won't synchronize contacts, calendar appointments or tasks.

While My Phone is a comprehensive backup utility, it does cross into some functionality of Windows Live Mobile -- an application that lets users share photos, check their Hotmail, view their calendar and contacts.

If Windows Live Mobile is installed on a phone, contacts stored in that application are just synchronized with the Windows Live service. Other contacts will be synchronized with My Phone, meaning that contacts could be stored in two different places.

Also, under the recommended settings, information on an external memory card will not be synchronized and neither will contacts that have been stored on a SIM card. Documents stored outside of the "My Documents" folder on the phone will also not be synchronized, Microsoft has said.

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