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Posted at 9:17 AM ET, 01/20/2011

Microsoft IDs Windows Phone 7 data hog after customer complaints

By Hayley Tsukayama

AP100907032039.jpgMicrosoft said that a third-party solution caused some Windows Phone 7 users to consume more 3G data than they anticipated.

The company promised to investigate the issue after some Windows Phone 7 users, such as one customer who said his phone was sending between 30 and 50MB of unauthorized data daily, noticed they were using unusually high amounts of data. Other users reported that they were consuming 3G even when connected to WiFi.

Microsoft told that the issue affected only a small number of users.

The company did not name which third-party application was using the phantom data, though many of those who complained believe it is an e-mail application.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 20, 2011; 9:17 AM ET
Categories:  Mobile, Windows  
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Why is Microsoft responsible for the bad behavior of a 3rd party application?

Posted by: photosmike | January 20, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

And now we find yet another bonus from the same folks that brought us a continual line of bloated virus magnets and tried to sell the world on the use of its security systems. I think someone, someday, will find the link behind all the issues is a series of "back doors" built in at the compiler level to provide a way to data mine information for purposes we will never have access to.

Posted by: jerrywww | January 20, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

It is truly hard to believe that anyone would chose Windows as their operating system now that Android and Iphone systems.

Posted by: james69 | January 20, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree with photosmike, why should microsoft be responsible. If i download a pc application and it sucks up 5 GB a day, thats not Microsofts fault. I would never use a Windows phone (I have android) but i still dont think they should be held liable

Posted by: codyrichards | January 20, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

MS is perceived as responsible because Apple has said it _IS_ responsible for it's customer ecosystem. Apple sets the pace. Therefore, Microsoft has to be responsible otherwise it will get the blame and ire of its customers. This is 2010. We expect software to be tested before its sold.

Posted by: ggb667 | January 20, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

To answer photomike, Microsoft probably shouldn't be responsible; but as jerrywww showed us, they get blamed regardless. In fact a lot of the stranger things Windows does can be attributed to workarounds for various types of stupidity (whether bugs or just brain-damaged coding) in third-party software.

My favorite example is arguably the one at -- one particular Windows 95 video driver would always claim to support any DirectX feature it was asked about, whether or not the support really existed. Naturally, this led to a number of spectacular failures when Windows tried to do something the card didn't actually support. Without spoiling how this was dealt with, I will say that it involved the physical destruction of a network card. (Seriously.)

Other examples include an ATAPI CD-ROM drive that forgot to identify itself as ATAPI and setting the OLE VARIANT date's zero point to December 30, 1899 to work around the Lotus 1-2-3 developers getting leap years wrong.

Posted by: CSB3 | January 20, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I'm glad I posted that link to The Old New Thing earlier, because there's an even better example of the rock and hard place that Microsoft finds themselves forced between:

Basically, one of the default settings for exception handling on servers is very problematic and can easily trick the unprepared into assuming everything is going well when the reality is anything but. Unfortunately, there's no good way to move away from that default -- lots of server expect that problematic bit of exception handling and can't handle a different setting. Meaning that either Microsoft leaves it alone and risks stability and even some security issues, or they change it and break all sorts of third-party software. Guess who gets blamed if they do the latter?

Posted by: CSB3 | January 20, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot!

Posted by: fakedude1 | January 20, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

OK, first off, I'm an old software developer and don't know much about cell phones.
I will, however, speculate that Microsoft's operating system allows a third party app to behave badly - kind of like how Word and Excel allowed people to do bad things to your computer.
So, the data that is being passed using the phone system is not authorized and perhaps is collecting data about its location and keeping track of whatever else you may be doing on the phone.
Did Microsoft approve this software for use? Why is the behavior of the rouge software not well described? The owner of the software transmitting without authorization is responsible for air time!
How can it be that a car manufacturer is liable for the vehicle's behavior and a phone manufacturer evades responsibility?

After a Windows experience, why would anyone purchase anything from Microsoft?

Posted by: NMremote | January 20, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

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