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MSFT Blames 3rd Party for WP7 'Phantom Data'

Last week brought reports that Windows Phone 7 devices were found to use excessive amounts of data even when sitting idle on a Wi-Fi connection. Presently Microsoft's new mobile operating system reportedly sends between 30 and 50 MB of unidentified data each day while active, and between 2 and 5 MB of data when idle.

After the initial reports, Microsoft said that it would look into the problem and release a fix if necessary. One week later, Microsoft is now pointing a blaming finger at a third-party application for the unusual data usage.

"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," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email. "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."

The spokesperson added that Microsoft is 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," the spokesperson added. "We are continuing to investigate this issue and will update with additional information and guidance as it becomes available."

Microsoft did not specify the offending third party. In the meantime, users may want to disable location services and manually check their email rather than leaving automatic updates active.