Windows Phone 7 to Offer Free SkyDrive-Integrated Backup Service, and Find My Phone Feature

News from the Windows Phone blog informs us that the upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system will also come with a companion website which will include an online backup of your mobile photos, Windows Live Calendar, contacts, OneNote files and other information. This free service will be hosted on SkyDrive, which offers 25 GB of online storage. It will also include a “Find my Phone” feature which lets a Windows Phone owner track a missing phone using a map, ring, lock and a remote wipe tool, all of which are accessible from any PC.

And here’s the kicker – according to the blog post, all of the above is being offered for free.

That’s huge! While the idea of online backup and phone tracking isn’t novel by any means – there are certainly mobile applications available that offer similarity functionality – there’s always a price tag that comes with such a service, in my experience. The cheapest option I’ve found to date was a mobile service that went for around $20/2 years – but it was for tracking only, not backup and sync. And when you look at officially supported solutions like Apple’s MobileMe, the price is $99/year. Blackberry will soon start offering a free “remote wipe” tool for consumers, but it doesn’t include the backup and sync either.

Arguably, the online backup and sync was one of the best features of the now-discontinued Kin phones whose “Kin Studio” provided this same type of functionality. It’s good to see that this technology will now be available to all who purchase a Windows Mobile phone.

The blog post also revealed some other juicy tidbits about the new OS, although some of which we knew before…this includes news of a push notification service that lets developers deliver real-time updates to their apps and the associated “live tiles,” Bing integration, details about the various “hubs,” how you’ll be able to access and manage the Zune PC software via Wi-Fi from your phone (wait, seriously?! wow!), Xbox LIVE integration and its “friending” function, Office integration, Web-based email integration (yes, even for Gmail) and more.

Also revealed were details about language options and Marketplace availability: During initial availability, Windows Phone 7 will support 5 languages - English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. The Windows Phone Marketplace will support the buying and selling of applications in 17 countries - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States.

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