Last week we learned that a phone loaded with prototype Microsoft software was pickpocketed from the coat of an unnamed executive at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The phone in question was handed to Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo for testing purposes, who then gave the phone to someone else. That someone else 'lost track' of the phone at a party later that evening, meaning that an early version of Windows Mobile 6.5 is now somewhere in the wild.
Telstra did confirm that the phone was stolen, but Microsoft did not offer any comment on the matter. APC sources a “senior Microsoft staffer,” who spoke under terms of anonymity that Microsoft remotely wiped all the data from the device, including the flashy new user interface. The underlying operating system itself, however, remains on the stolen device, according to the story.
While there is a level of paranoia that Microsoft could reach out to any Windows Mobile 6.5 phone to wipe its data, the feature itself of remote wiping is one that is highly attractive for corporate applications. Businesses that store and transmit sensitive information using handheld devices demand a way to wipe the data from a given device should it be lost or stolen.
It seems that the stolen Windows Mobile 6.5 handset was, if nothing else, an early proof of remote wiping in action.