Microsoft detail Windows Phone 7 "Kill Switch" option

Microsoft has mentioned that Windows Phone 7 devices have a kill switch option for removing dangerous applications from both the Marketplace as well as from a users Windows Phone 7 handset if they have to.

PC Pro explains exactly how they can deal with the situation if it arises. The first and the easiest option for Microsoft is to remove the application directly from the marketplace. This way, users will no longer see the application online if they went searching for it, but this wouldn't remove the problem application from a users handset if they had already downloaded it.

Microsoft's Todd Biggs, who is the director of product management went on to say that if an application is dangerous they could initiate a kill switch style action. In this move, when a users handset does a check for marketplace updates, which Windows Phone 7 automatically does, if the application is bad enough, Microsoft can remove it directly from your handset.

Biggs however did say that Microsoft performs stringent testing and checks on applications before they enter the marketplace, to ensure that rogue apps do not get through.

Microsoft is not the only company in the mobile industry with the ability to remove dangerous applications from phones. Earlier this year Google confirmed that they could remotely delete Android applications if they need to.

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in theory, it sound pretty good but, in a real world scenario, it sound nasty at best.

Let's say that you are unlocked your cellphone just for use a application disallowed in the Microsoft store. Take note that it is your cellphone so you can do whatever you want with it. Then, if Microsoft activate the kill switch then, they can remove remotely such unauthorized application. Even worst, they can even remove a application and screw with the system (if for example, a user decide to install a application that play with the core of the OS).

And the worst is that, if you install a rogue application then may be it is too later for you. Protectives measures must be done before not after.

Magallanes said,
in theory, it sound pretty good but, in a real world scenario, it sound nasty at best.

Let's say that you are unlocked your cellphone just for use a application disallowed in the Microsoft store. Take note that it is your cellphone so you can do whatever you want with it. Then, if Microsoft activate the kill switch then, they can remove remotely such unauthorized application. Even worst, they can even remove a application and screw with the system (if for example, a user decide to install a application that play with the core of the OS).

And the worst is that, if you install a rogue application then may be it is too later for you. Protectives measures must be done before not after.


This is true, but true for all phone platforms... in fact, all platforms. This isn't Microsoft specific.

Protective measures must be done before, not after, but it's nice to have a "morning after pill" of sorts...

rfirth said,

This is true, but true for all phone platforms... in fact, all platforms. This isn't Microsoft specific.

Protective measures must be done before, not after, but it's nice to have a "morning after pill" of sorts...

True but the problem is that you are not the one who decides to swallow the "morning after pill" or not.
And yes this apply to all of them: MS , Android and Apple.

How can someone use a stolen phone with a new SIM? Supposedly once the phone IMEI is reported as stolen the phone should become useless.

The IMEI number can be changed. Not for all phones though, and it generally is not something the average user can do. It is obviously illegal to do it though.

Fritzly said,
How can someone use a stolen phone with a new SIM? Supposedly once the phone IMEI is reported as stolen the phone should become useless.

In the US, the GSM carriers do not do IMEI blocking, so the phone can still be used if someone swaps the SIM card. US carriers only block the SIM card that is tied to the users account.

PsyOpWarlord said,

In the US, the GSM carriers do not do IMEI blocking, so the phone can still be used if someone swaps the SIM card. US carriers only block the SIM card that is tied to the users account.

As usual: we pay First class fare and get sub-economy service...

The Guardian said,
The IMEI number can be changed. Not for all phones though, and it generally is not something the average user can do. It is obviously illegal to do it though.

Thanks, I did not know that.

Sounds like good idea to me. Wonder if it it goes as far as being capable of dealing with the sim card being changed after loss/theft, like Guardian Mobile can - which will discretely text you the phone number of the new sim so that you can stay hot on the trail of your M.I.A mobile (as well as all the other stuff like GPS locate, remote lock, remote erase data, remote alarm activation etc)

Teebor said,
I hoped this was a remote kill for if your phone was stolen, but this is good too

"If you lose your Windows Phone, you can track it down right from Windows Live. Simply go to http://windowsphone.live.com and you can locate your phone on a map, ring your phone (even if it's on silent or vibrate), or lock or erase a phone that has been lost. After you find your phone (or if you get a new one), just type in your Windows Live ID, and your mail, calendar, contacts, and more will come right back to your phone."

woi said,

"If you lose your Windows Phone, you can track it down right from Windows Live. Simply go to http://windowsphone.live.com and you can locate your phone on a map, ring your phone (even if it's on silent or vibrate), or lock or erase a phone that has been lost. After you find your phone (or if you get a new one), just type in your Windows Live ID, and your mail, calendar, contacts, and more will come right back to your phone."


I like, much better than BB from the sounds of it

woi said,

"If you lose your Windows Phone, you can track it down right from Windows Live. Simply go to http://windowsphone.live.com and you can locate your phone on a map, ring your phone (even if it's on silent or vibrate), or lock or erase a phone that has been lost. After you find your phone (or if you get a new one), just type in your Windows Live ID, and your mail, calendar, contacts, and more will come right back to your phone."

Ya, if you do a remote lock you can type in the message as well like, "Give me back my phone!" and then lock it.

GP007 said,

Ya, if you do a remote lock you can type in the message as well like, "Give me back my phone!" and then lock it.

So basically, it's MobileMe...

Microsoft's Todd Biggs, who is the director of product management went on to say that if an application dangerous they could initiate a kill switch style action.

Don't make sence, you need an IS after the application