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Microsoft Looking Into Windows Phone 7's 'Excessive' Data Use

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  • by whong09 (1307849) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:24PM (#34830620)
    Seriously, does no one do field testing anymore?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:27PM (#34830652)

      Sadly, Microsoft has always let their users do this. :(

      But, you're right ... How could you NOT know this? That's bloody ridiculous ... I bet a lot of users are getting utterly hosed by this.

      • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Monday January 10, 2011 @10:07PM (#34831592)
        Obviously this is a design feature. Win Phone 7 is simply using "the cloud" for its virtual memory swap space. Only 30 - 50 MB per day shows how efficient their phones actually are at using their new VM technology.
      • by FooAtWFU (699187)
        Conspiracy theory time! The carriers give them a cut of the profits from the data overages. At $0.50/kb*, it could be substantial.... especially since the phone itself is liable to be a complete flop.

        (*The sad thing is how little of an exaggeration that is.)

        • Conspiracy theory time! The carriers give them a cut of the profits from the data overages. At $0.50/kb*, it could be substantial.... especially since the phone itself is liable to be a complete flop.

          (*The sad thing is how little of an exaggeration that is.)

          Oh sure, but if they are caught the fines might amount to 5 or even 10 percent* of the profit!

          (*The sad thing is that a decimal error in this prediction is doubtful.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Garridan (597129)
          Don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. The phones are clogged with malware within 30 seconds of booting, and immediately start blasting out spam and attempting to infect other phones.
          • by 1s44c (552956)

            Don't attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. The phones are clogged with malware within 30 seconds of booting, and immediately start blasting out spam and attempting to infect other phones.

            It's the same as always, Buy Microsoft and get hosed. With android and apple phones about what fool would buy a Microsoft phone?

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Sure they tested, but they had unlimited corporate test accounts so they didn't really care..

      • by digitig (1056110) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:57PM (#34830968)
        That probably is right [stepto.com].
      • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Monday January 10, 2011 @10:08PM (#34831604)

        Either that or end users have installed apps that are sending data without their knowledge. It's not an uncommon problem, even with regular PC apps.

        • by batkiwi (137781)

          WP7 has no background applications support for third party apps.

          • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Monday January 10, 2011 @11:20PM (#34832112)

            Actually there are a few apps (third party) that MS has allowed to run in the background.

            http://www.wpcentral.com/multitasking-coming-wp7-pandora-can-multitask-now [wpcentral.com]

            Scherotter said while a few major apps will be able to multitask, such as Pandora, the music streaming app that will play in the background while the user is doing something else, independent apps will not, for now. Scherotter said that eventually, independent apps will be multitask-capable, but he wouldn't say when that would be.

            Of course they didn't note exactly what those 'few major apps' are.

            • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @06:00AM (#34833894) Homepage Journal

              Actually there are a few apps (third party) that MS has allowed to run in the background.

              http://www.wpcentral.com/multitasking-coming-wp7-pandora-can-multitask-now [wpcentral.com]

              Scherotter said while a few major apps will be able to multitask, such as Pandora, the music streaming app that will play in the background while the user is doing something else, independent apps will not, for now. Scherotter said that eventually, independent apps will be multitask-capable, but he wouldn't say when that would be.

              Of course they didn't note exactly what those 'few major apps' are.

              NOT correct. Please don't count on article titles to be correct. That's like counting on a slashdot summary being correct.

              Currently, only Microsoft apps can multitask. The key words in the announcement... errr... sorry, article, are in bold below:

              More importantly that multitasking is coming to Windows Phone 7, just no firm date;

              Scherotter said while a few major apps will be able to multitask, such as Pandora, the music streaming app that will play in the background while the user is doing something else, independent apps will not, for now. Scherotter said that eventually, independent apps will be multitask-capable, but he wouldn't say when that would be.

              And if you read the update, currently Zune is cited as the app that can do this.

              So, let me correct your statement:

              Actually there are a few major apps (third party) that MS has promised, at some future undisclosed date, may be allowed to run in the background.

              Not sure about you, but when Microsoft DOES announce dates for things (Windows 93... 94... Vista as a couple examples) or features (those left out of Vista as examples), it's already something I dont lend much credence to. When they aren't even willing to announce a date, I have NO idea what to think.

              That aside, point is, GP was correct. WP7 does not multitask anything but a few Microsoft released apps (or at least Zune).

              A -1 Wrong mod (for you) would have saved me so much typing. ;-)

    • by Threni (635302) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:29PM (#34830674)

      They released the Kin. Apparently they don't do market research either.

      It's probably just the phone sending periodic screenshots back to base so they can keep an eye on what you're downloading or something...

    • by erroneus (253617)

      "Looking Into"? Are they saying that they don't know what their own products do??

      Microsoft: Let's compete by putting a desktop OS onto a phone!
      Everyone else: Will it work??
      Microsoft: I don't know! You tell us!

    • by ludomancer (921940) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:36PM (#34830752)

      Is it that bad? Again?

      I have a windows mobile phone from the generation before. I tell everyone I'm able: it really is the worst product that I've ever seen actually released. I have NO idea how it was put on the market, because it is so fundamentally nonfunctional in so many primary features... I mean that statement says it alone.

      I will never touch another MS mobile product again. It enrages me that they get away with multiple shit-products. DO NOT BUY!

      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday January 10, 2011 @09:23PM (#34831262) Homepage

        Hah, I used to develop for WinCE and Windows Mobile. From time to time we would look at each other, exchange an "Are we really doing this? For real?" glance, then sigh and get back to our Sisyphean task.

        It was always blindingly obvious that the chaps who developed the WinCE line did so on simulators on their desktops, not on actual phone hardware. The WinCE line has never, ever been designed for actual mobile use.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, 2011 @09:46PM (#34831454)

          I did the same for many years. I know *WHY* they did it on sims. The hardware was not up to the task of actually running that POS os. Never mind activesync is the biggest POS software.

          I also met over the years many of the guys working on the low level stuff. I would goto the classes thinking 'I must be missing something'. The same people would be in those classes asking fundamental C/make problems. I would ask 'what do you do?' 'oh I write the device driver for xyz'. When I would get back home I would instruct my test teams to crawl thru driver XYZ and fix it or file as many bugs as you find. It was a seriously broken system ground up. The software to debug sucked. The drivers sucked. The build system sucked. It sucked all around. The API was not quite Win32. The hardware was 'okayish' but not up to the task of CE. There is a reason linux/iOS/FreeBSD is eating MS's lunch in that market. The tools are better to use, and the APIs are actually 99% the same. There is a reason MS is in a dominate position on the desktop. The visual studio tools are way better than what everyone else has. In the mobile market the tools blow ass.

          Balmer may scream 'developers' but they make some dreadful mobile dev tools. Its like they actually want to punish us to use their software. It may be better now. But a couple of years ago it was pretty pitiful.

          • There is a reason MS is in a dominate position on the desktop. The visual studio tools are way better than what everyone else has.

            No real disagreement with the rest of your post but the reasons MS dominates on the desktop go WAY beyond the quality of their developer tools. Not to say those aren't important (they are) but I think DOS and Windows would probably have dominated even if their developer tools were much worse than they actually are.

        • by Kitkoan (1719118)

          It was always blindingly obvious that the chaps who developed the WinCE line did so on simulators on their desktops, not on actual phone hardware. The WinCE line has never, ever been designed for actual mobile use.

          Your right, it wasnt developed for phone hardware or mobile use. It was made for embedded systems (typically on a ROM chip) in 1996. While it is possible to use it in a phone, its not pretty nor was it designed for them. Its supposed to be just a very trimmed down version of Windows for small devices that didnt need any extensions later on in its life span.

    • It is part of their key feature that they advertise over android and iPhone. The ability to look at your phone and see realtime updates without loading an app.

      Unfortunately in order to get realtime updates. That needs data to be sent to the phone even when you don't need it.

      That is why iPhone pushed it's push notification. As well as it's psuto multitasking. To keep it's customers safe from killing their plans.

      • by jeffgeno (737363) on Monday January 10, 2011 @09:09PM (#34831102)
        That's simply not true. Windows Phone 7 does the same kind of push notifications iOS and Facebook updates only come over automatically for the couple people you have pinned on your screen. I've had one since launch and used 500MB the first month and 450 the second. I have no doubt a few users are having problem (likely leaving the Feedback option checked and their email) but it's not a widespread problem by any means.
    • by Gerzel (240421)

      They did. The phone successfully phoned home and did all the updates they thought were necessary.

    • by sjames (1099)

      OMG! It compiled! Quick, ship it!

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      Seriously, does no one do field testing anymore?

      Seems quite far from a platform-wide issue.

    • Yes, they're field testing now... on the users. ;)
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:24PM (#34830628)

    It's the normal tracking mechanisms of any cell phone: maps, GPS, app updates.

    Windows 7 Phone just sends it in powerpoint format.

  • damn viruses...
  • by Kenja (541830) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:31PM (#34830706)
    Wasn't the whole point of these new phones all the little windows constantly being updated with the latest Twitter, etc data?
    • Wasn't the whole point of these new phones all the little windows constantly being updated with the latest Twitter, etc data?

      Sure, it's certainly not tracking data that Microsoft can convert into a revenue stream.

  • This is by design (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:33PM (#34830718)

    At the recent Microsoft TechEd, pretty much all of the Windows 7 talks and tutorials were about how cloudy Phone 7 was and how it just used Facebook and all that other stuff directly and so on and so forth.

    I asked a couple of different people whether this would mean it would chew a bunch of bandwidth, and the impression I got was that (to paraphrase) "Pretty much everyone is going to have decent data plans these days anyway, so we don't think it's a problem".

    The Windows 7 phone is chatty by design, I think they just expect data plans to catch up with it's usage until it's not a problem any more.

    • The Windows 7 phone is chatty by design

      In other words, it's just the Kin rebranded... Yup.

    • Re:This is by design (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Monday January 10, 2011 @09:17PM (#34831196) Homepage

      You're right. Windows Phone 7 is very cloud-focused -- so much that they didn't bother to expose the APIs for local databases. The data usage is definitely going to be higher than other less-connected devices. My best guess is that these people might have unrealistic expectations as to the amount of data these services use and are getting excessive push notifications, either from having too many live tiles or just ones that update too frequently. Next to that, a live tile might be crashing and perhaps the phone is sending debug information back home. The reports of using 3G even when wifi is available are interesting though, and suggest there might be another problem.

      That said, in my experience it still doesn't use a significant amount of data. I have a Windows Phone 7 device, and am using a lot of those cloud services. Instant email sync for two accounts (one fairly high-traffic), twitter, a few other live tiles, and the tracking service that occasionally wakes up GPS to ping MS with your location in case you lose your phone. When I'm at home it all goes over wifi like it's supposed to. I'm about 2/3rd of the way through my billing cycle and I'm still very very far under my bandwidth limit.

      • by cbhacking (979169)

        Live Tiles use the cellular radio by preference over WiFi, on the assumption that Push Notifications *should* go through if at all possible, and the cellular radio lets you maintain a persistent connection better than WiFi (which might not even have Internet access at all). Push notifications will apparently fall back to WiFi if they lose cellular connection, but they won't switch over automatically.

        I disagree with this design - I think that every time you join a WiFi network the phone should probe it for a

    • It's going to suck mightily for them if unlimited data plans go the way that unlimited home broadband plans are, and if the end of network neutrality makes it possible to charge extra for packets exchanged with a site owned by a company that hasn't signed some kind of deal with your ISP. That cloud stuff's not going to seem so neat when a user has to pay extra fees just to use basic features of their devices.

    • by sincewhen (640526)

      about how cloudy Phone 7 was

      Cloudy, with an 80% chance of fail.

    • With engineers like that, who needs competitors?

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Monday January 10, 2011 @11:26PM (#34832146) Journal

      Wow, that actually makes sense.

      My experience with Windows started at 3.1. I was an NT early adopter but had to support Windows 95/98/ME. About the time I noticed that the Plus! pack for Windows XP was bigger than the entire OS and Plus! distribution for 98, I realized that every release was bigger, in some cases a LOT bigger, and slower. In some cases, a LOT slower.

      It seemed like Microsoft was betting HEAVILY that computer speed and storage prices would continue to keep up with the bloat. It's possible that when Vista came out and initially had poor performance on the hardware at the time, the issue wasn't really that Vista was too slow but that the hardware that users had on their desk did not progress as much as Microsoft had been betting it would. Eventually the hardware did catch up and Vista runs fine now.

      I had similar experiences (although not for as long a time) with Windows Mobile. I had a Windows Mobile 5 phone and it was a pig. I had to reboot it regularly and doing any operation beyond initiating or answering calls was an exercise in patience.

      When Mobile 6 became available, I jumped on it.

      And it was *worse*. I now realize that this is probably because I had not jumped the gap to the next generation hardware.

      And so, I'm not surprised at all that the design process for Mobile 7 probably included the assumption that we would have significantly faster hardware, on networks of significantly higher capacity *and* speed (which are two different things) and that they may have been a little too optimistic in that regard.

  • Maybe they accidentally embedded the MyLifeBits http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/mylifebits/ [microsoft.com] software in WP7 and it's sending the results home.
  • by Bork (115412)

    Its just MS's Genuine Advantage Validation Tool making sure you do not use any illegal apps.

  • Duh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday January 10, 2011 @08:44PM (#34830830) Journal
    That Windows Genuine Advantage isn't going to validate itself....
  • If it's anything like a Windows desktop, then it's probably a boatload of security fixes.

  • It looks like everyone should just get an unlimited data plan from Verizon [slashdot.org].

    I can't see anything wrong with that idea.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Try applying a variation of purpose for an idea I have already implemented on ANDROID:

      http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1930156&cid=34713952 [slashdot.org]

      Except this time, on this MS product, instead.

      (That is, provided their IP stack is BSD derived, which it most likely is, & that dev. tools like ANDROID's ADB exist for the MS unit)...

      APK

      P.S.=> I mean, hey - First of all: It's YOUR MONEY & online speed + security, after all! Secondly/For example, & a single one only (because there's a lot more you c

  • It's called Windows Phone 7 because it uses 7GB of data per month in standby mode.
  • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Monday January 10, 2011 @09:31PM (#34831334) Journal

    I noticed the line at the end of the BBC article and couldn't believe what I was reading - does WP7 actually lack copy-n-paste capabilities? Apple took some justified shit for waiting years to include that capability in iPhoneOS. If that's for real, then WP7 deserves its unpopularity.

    I had a chance to play with a WP7 device at a big box tech retailer on NYE (oddly, mere moments before getting an iPhone after a spontaneous discussion with my partner about my former piece-o-junk phone[0]). The interface was snappy, but it was pretty obvious why - solid colours, simple text. I have to wonder how well a WP7 device would operate under load with some third-party software installed.

    [0] An LG Neon TE365F. Go ahead and laugh, I deserve it for purchasing such a turd.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Until later this month, yes it lacks copy/paste. This has actually already been done (as a feature) for some time; it's been demoed a few times and I'm told it's available to people on the WP7 team at MS, but it's not widely deployed just yet.

      As for your comment on the interface, I'm curious what computer graphics knowledge you have that makes you think "solid colors, simple text" with advanced animations (such as the ones that happen when you enter or leave the Start screen) are easier to do than the iOS o

  • It doesn't surprise me that a problem like this has surfaced. As several posters have already pointed out, it's almost impossible to tell what kind of problems a prototype is going to have in the field under live conditions. None of us know what the exact Microsoft (or Apple, or Google, or whoever) testing conditions are before they release a product. To be sure, a wide, varied testing protocol would ensure the best outcomes, however, these are giant corporations with lots of money, but who also have to ens
  • WHAT? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Hatchet (1766306)

    3-5 mb idle use????? If it is using ANYTHING that isn't directed by the user, it is too much. What a worthless load of shit.

  • It shows how much the world has changed when you start to feel pity for MS

    yeah yeah they're still huge and all that...but it's easy to argue that they are bewildered and in decline. They haven't had a _real_ success is about a decade. Win7 is doing well but not 'off the charts' and they seem as surprised as anyone at the consumer interest the Kinect in generating.
  • by qmaqdk (522323) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:07AM (#34833424)

    The title of their page [microsoft.com] is Windows Phone home.

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