Friday, February 06, 2009

Microsoft SkyBox is "My Phone"?

Man, I just wrote a post saying that - at least - Microsoft came up with an original name for their MobileMe initiative, and it turns out I was wrong... A new site went live today,, (and it was promptly shut down) where Skybox is actually called Microsoft My Phone.

I mean "My Phone"!!!

I still feel it might be a hoax, but all the info I gathered point to a real thing. Something Microsoft is getting ready for MWC in Barcelona. Skybox is supposed to be the outcome of their acquisition of Mobicomp in Portugal, a sync company, last June.

Q&A (summary from the site):
  1. "Microsoft My Phone works only on phones that run the Windows Mobile 6+ operating system". No surprise.
  2. "Recommended settings will synchronize contacts, calendar appointments, tasks, photos, videos, text messages, music, and documents between your phone and your My Phone web account". If this is true, it is tasks, videos, text messages and documents more than MobileMe (not a small difference...). But email is not there (wow).
  3. "Access and update your contacts and appointments on the web Microsoft My Phone enables you to view and manage phone information by using a web browser. [..] From your web account, you can save photos to your computer or can e-mail them to family and friends.". Nice, I am curious about the documents...
  4. "Microsoft does not charge a fee for the My Phone service at this time". Uuuhhh, that's $99/year less than MobileMe...
  5. "How much data can I back up? Your Microsoft My Phone account gives you 200 MB of free storage on the Microsoft My Phone web site". Well, 200 MB is not that much if you sync pictures and documents. But who cares? It is free...
  6. "If you accept the recommended settings, Microsoft My Phone will automatically synchronize information between your mobile phone and your Microsoft My Phone web account once per day between 11:00 P.M. and 5:00 A.M. [..]. You can also back up your data manually at any time by selecting Sync in the Microsoft My Phone application on your phone." What? No push? Only one sync a day? That is surprising, and a bit depressing.
Bottom line. If all this is true, it looks a lot more like a backup service than a real mobile life sync service (e.g. what Google gives you with Android). No email, no push and just once a day sync is very very limiting. But being free, it is a good start.

However, if you want to see the real next thing, stop by our booth in Barcelona... And yes, it works with Windows Mobile as well.

[update 7 Feb, 2009: it is all true! Microsoft has now a web site at]