Microsoft Discovers Third-Party Source for “Phantom Data” Issue

Jan 19, 2011
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Microsoft Discovers Third-Party Source for “Phantom Data” Issue

Whether Microsoft thought the "phantom data" situation was news worthy enough or not, it seems the Redmond-based company has chosen a low-key method of fixing the situation. Answering a question by Nick Eaton from Seattle PI, which asked the company directly about the situation, the company actually told him that they've not only figured out what's causing it, but that they're currently working on a fix for the problem.

The problem was originally reported about at the beginning of January. Windows Phone 7 owners were reporting large amounts of 3G data being gobbled up, even when they were connected to a WiFi network. So, Microsoft says that they've figured out what the cause is, and they're taking the necessary steps to fix it. However, what they're not saying, is what actually caused the issue. They company is being vague about the whole thing:

"We have determined that a third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones is configured in a manner that potentially cause 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."

A "third-party solution" that "commonly accessed from Windows Phones." That's what's causing the larger than expected data downloads. There could be some additional root causes, but Microsoft isn't sure about that. It's currently being investigated. The company also added that they will "update with additional information and guidance." That seems odd, considering they weren't doing that in the first place, nor did they send out this report that they had discovered the cause of the problem to anyone, other than Eaton after being directly asked about it.

Whatever the reason Microsoft has decided to stay quiet about this, as long as it gets fixed, it's probably not a big deal to most customers. However, with how open the company has been about updates and other issues, it seems strange that they would stay quiet regarding something like this. Hopefully, if we stay tuned, Microsoft will let us know what's going on before too long.

[via WindowsPhoneSecrets]


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