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The culprit in the Windows Phone 7's data issues turned out to be Yahoo! Mail, as many suspected.  (Source: WindowsPhone7.info)
Microsoft offers a fix to its Windows Phone 7 users who run the offending app

Microsoft has finally gone public with the "third party" behind the phantom data menace afflicting a "single digit" percentage of its Windows Phone 7 smartphones.  That app is Yahoo! Mail (previous speculation that HTC apps might be implicated now seems incorrect).

Microsoft writes:

We have determined that an inefficiency exists in the synchronization of email between the Windows Phone Mail client and Yahoo! Mail.

This inefficiency can result in larger than expected data usage for a very small percentage of users.
    • Microsoft and Yahoo! have worked together to identify a fix, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
    • In the meantime, customers can mitigate this issue by following these steps:
1.  On the Start screen of Windows Phone 7, click on the arrow at the top right
2.  Choose “Settings” from the app list
3.  Choose “email & accounts”
4.  Choose “Yahoo! Mail”
5.  Click on the setting under “Download new content”
6.  Select a less frequent setting. If you are using the default setting (every 2 hours), change this setting to ‘manually’
7.  Click on the setting under “Download email from”
8.  Select a shorter time range. If you are using the default setting (the last 2 weeks), change this setting to ‘the last 7 days’
9.  Microsoft has also identified an issue with our Exchange ActiveSync [EAS] email synchronization protocol that may affect a very small percentage of users
    • This issue can be caused by email that exceeds the mail server email size setting or is sent to an invalid email address
    • This issue can potentially affect email services that utilize the EAS protocol – Outlook and Gmail for example
    • The immediate mitigation is for users to delete mail that appears “stuck” in the outbox
This is currently scheduled to be fixed in a near-term end user update from Microsoft

Not everyone is satisfied with Microsoft's response.  Paul Thurott, who runs the Windows SuperSite, and is typically a strong Microsoft defender/proponent writes, "I realize I’m just stating the obvious, but there’s no reason, and no excuse, for this information to not have been provided earlier."

Average cases involved approximately 10 MB of excess data transferred a day.  The Seattle Pi claims that one customer experienced an incredible 50 GB of data use in a single day.  That would represent near-continuous transmission over good signal conditions, and would necessitate the phone to be plugged in (or the battery would have gone dead), nonetheless, its an extreme example of this frustrating issue that has been plaguing Microsoft and its users.

Now that the WP7 platform has its data issues behind it, it can focus on bringing the platform to the Sprint and Verizon's networks.  It can also focus on rolling out updates to fill in missing functionality like third party multitasking support and copy and paste.


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RE: Yahoo mail?
By Fanon on 2/1/2011 9:45:51 AM , Rating: 3
The culprit is how Yahoo!'s IMAP server (winmo.imap.mail.yahoo.com -- notice the winmo) responds to FETCH requests. Read http://www.withinwindows.com/2011/01/31/yahoo-conf... for more info.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By mcnabney on 2/1/2011 9:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
More accurately, it sounds like Yahoo! Mail does Push like Exchange or Gmail will on the Android platform.

One of the top webmail services not being able to Push is a big pile of Fail right there on the part of WP7.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Murst on 2/1/2011 10:39:46 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is w/ the response to a fetch request. Can/is this still classified as push? I was under the impression that the phone does not make a request for push... as that would make it a response/request type of thing similar to how HTTP works.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By bug77 on 2/1/2011 10:54:33 AM , Rating: 2
That's how push works. Unless your phone acts as a server, it must still poll for "push" requests. Push is actually simulated.

There are actually 3 ways to simulate a push:
1. Poll for changes.
2. Keep a connection alive so that the server may actually push stuff.
3. Have the server attach changes to responses to other requests (piggyback).
The second and the third are very impractical for mobile phones.

But the problem is, if FETCH is indeed the culprit, are other platforms affected too? Or maybe just the server responsible for wp7 had a misconfiguration? Or does wp7 send the FETCH request in a unique way?


RE: Yahoo mail?
By JediJeb on 2/1/2011 11:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
I remember having a problem like this years ago with Gmail and Thunderbird where even though it was setup to retrieve only new emails it would download the entire inbox from Gmail each time and made duplicate entries in Thunderbird. If I kept it live very long I ended up with a huge inbox. Sounds like the same type thing is happening here with Yahoo and WP7 somehow.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Da W on 2/1/2011 11:37:19 AM , Rating: 1
Yeeehhhhh lets bash on WP7 and MS.

Who has a yahoo mail still?


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Fanon on 2/1/2011 2:10:22 PM , Rating: 4
So every other mail provider can push just fine, but Yahoo! can't... and it's WP7's fault? Do you think before you respond, or are you just stupid?


RE: Yahoo mail?
By bug77 on 2/1/2011 5:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
Well, neither Android nor iOS have reported issues with yahoo mail. So it is possible it's wp7's fault.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Fanon on 2/1/2011 7:38:00 PM , Rating: 3
So all signs point to stupid. One last chance at redemption: did you read anything in my original post? Like the host name of Yahoo! Mail's service?


RE: Yahoo mail?
By bug77 on 2/2/2011 4:06:38 AM , Rating: 2
The hostname is just that: a name. It doesn't mean it's a different server behind it. But like I said, even if they are the same, there's a chance the windows instance is configured wrong.

I mean, don't you find it at least weird that neither Android nor iOS have reported problems with yahoo mail? Are you willing to take anything M$ says at face value?

All I'm saying is M$'s claim seems dubious, not that it's necessarily false.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Fanon on 2/2/2011 8:46:46 AM , Rating: 2
I find it weirder that Yahoo! is the only mail provider with the issue.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By bug77 on 2/2/2011 4:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and here's Yahoo proving me right: http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/02/yaho...


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Fanon on 2/2/2011 8:51:44 AM , Rating: 2
To quote (and fix) from your previous post:

quote:
Are you willing to take anything Yahoo! says at face value?


They were the ones caught with their pants down. Only natural they point fingers. Again, Yahoo! is the only mail provider with the issue.

P.S. - The $ in MS which exposes your bias and ruins your credibility.


RE: Yahoo mail?
By bug77 on 2/2/2011 9:12:47 AM , Rating: 2
No. But since their explanation fits my reasoning, I'm going to go with that, for now.

I did notice that Yahoo seem to be the only provider affected. If you look at my initial post, I even said it's possible something from wp7 is triggering some arcane feature no other mobile OS uses and thus exposes a bug. But right now, it seems the fix must be done on wp7's side.

PS: How do you know I'm not writing M$ out of admiration for their ability to make piles of cash?


RE: Yahoo mail?
By Fanon on 2/3/2011 8:52:35 AM , Rating: 2
You might want to check out http://www.withinwindows.com/2011/02/02/yahoo-your...

Do I really have to answer your final question?


RE: Yahoo mail?
By SiliconJon on 2/1/2011 11:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
So there's no middle man or data reflection going on in the extra code?

http://news.cnet.com/Yahoo-on-NSA-surveillance-No-...


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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