Cause of Windows Phone 7 data spikes found

The glitch, according to Microsoft, is caused by the way that a "third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones" is configured

Microsoft has reportedly traced the cause of random, high spikes in data usage by some Windows Phone 7 handsets to a widely accessed "third-party solution." Microsoft is working with that so-far unidentified vendor, according to SeattlePI.com.

The glitch, according to Microsoft, is caused by the way that a "third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones" is configured. Microsoft is working with this vendor to "assist them in making the necessary fixes" and also is exploring possible workarounds, if needed.

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Over the past few weeks, some users have complained of occasional very high data use on their Windows Phone 7 handsets, usage that seems to take place without any action by the users, and that ignores a Wi-Fi connection to use 3G, potentially exhausting data plan limits.

In today's statement, Microsoft says it is a "low single-digit percentage" of users who have reported the problem.

SeattlePI was one of many news sites covering the issue. This week, reporter Nick Eaton, who runs SeattlePI's Microsoft Blog, asked a PR spokesperson for an update. Somewhat surprisingly, he was given one.

Here's the complete statement:

"We have determined that a third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones is configured in a manner that potentially causes larger than expected data downloads. We are in contact with the third party to assist them in making the necessary fixes, and are also pursuing potential workarounds to address the configuration issue in case those are needed. At this point in our investigation, we believe this is responsible for most of the reported incidents.

"We are investigating additional potential root causes for the remainder of the reports.

"A small (low single-digit) percentage of Windows Phone customers have reported being affected.

"We are continuing to investigate this issue and will update with additional information and guidance as it becomes available."

Microsoft's PR spokeswoman for Windows Phone 7 declined to expand on the statement.

John Cox covers wireless networking and mobile computing for Network World.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnwcoxnww

E-mail: john_cox@nww.com

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