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Microsoft Says Stolen Phone Rendered Useless

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jeffunit
    It is good to know that american power corporation (APC) is on top of this. On the other hand, perhaps AP is what is meant in the article.

    Is anyone paid to proofread this?
    Reply
  • wilburyan
    This is NOT a new feature. Blackberries connected to a BES (Blackberry Exchange Server) also have this functionality.

    Windows Mobile 5 devices like the Palm 700wx or the Motorola Q can also be remotely wiped if they have been setup to use mobile exchange. Where I work... phones belonging to people who would have confidential information in their e-mail, have lost / misplaced their phones, and remotely wiping them as a security measure is common practice.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    zipzoomflyhighWhy would something top secret and confidential (to microsoft) be handed around and taken to a party??The best place to hide something is public. So the only problem really was the guy losing it - he ended up proving himself as a human
    Reply
  • zipzoomflyhigh - It´s so obvious that is just a marketing trick! Just see how much press they got over this "incident". Don´t let em fool ya! Heads up folks!
    Reply
  • Greatwalrus
    I get really sick of all of the grammar nazi's who comment on these news stories. Give it a break - we don't need to hear about mistakes you found in the article. Trolls.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    GreatWalrusI get really sick of all of the grammar nazi's who comment on these news stories. Give it a break - we don't need to hear about mistakes you found in the article. Trolls.What about trolls that complain about other trolls?
    Sometimes those grammar errors will lead to an incorrect interpretation of the material, and in those cases correcting them are essential. I don't care to read those comments bickering about a missing punctuation or such, but those where typos change the meaning are crucial to get underscored so chris or someone can fix them.
    Reply
  • WheelsOfConfusion
    GreatWalrusI get really sick of all of the grammar nazi's who comment on these news stories. Give it a break - we don't need to hear about mistakes you found in the article. Trolls.I think you meant to type "grammar Nazis." It's plural rather than possessive, and the N should be capitalized.
    Reply
  • nekatreven
    jeffunitIt is good to know that american power corporation (APC) is on top of this. On the other hand, perhaps AP is what is meant in the article. Is anyone paid to proofread this?
    Uh, no actually. If you'd taken a second and a half to click the link instead of just blindly commenting you'd see the site is called APC. I think they typed what they meant.

    I however am not yet tired of seeing writers getting poked at for valid spelling and grammar mistakes. Its a professional media group for crying out loud, they need to hear about it when it happens. Maybe they should put a button on each page for flagging that stuff so we can keep it out of the comments.
    Reply
  • antilycus
    i think it's great for the next employee that steals a corporate phone...
    Reply
  • truehighroller
    It seems that the stolen Windows Mobile 6.5 handset was, if nothing else, an early proof of remote wiping in action.




    Yeah, I think this was done on purpose now that this has been noted.
    Reply