Windows Phone feedback data usage

The Windows Phone 7 'phantom' data has been something of a mystery, but with Microsoft giving their diagnoses that it appears to be third-party software as being the source of the problem, Rafael Rivera took a closer look into the matter.

Rafael took a look into the feedback tool built within Windows Phone 7 and uncovered some very interesting clues as to who the culprit behind the phantom data might be. According to Rafael, the feedback toggle (fund under Settings > System > Feedback) transmits Software Quality Management (SQM) back to Microsoft's centralized server (sqm.microsoft.com) for data analysis.

As Rafael dug a little deeper to see exactly what was being sent, he gathered some of the SQM communication data and discovered chunks of the data was uncompressed textual data. Digging through the data, you can see that the device sends information such as your email domain, phone make and model, operating system and build number, carrier, processes and more:

Some classes of data transmitted (obtained from packets one and two):

  • Phone make, model (e.g. Samsung SGH-i917)
  • Operating system build string (e.g. 7004.WM7_7.0_Ship(mojobld).20100916-1429)
  • Carrier (e.g. AT&T US)
  • Carrier support information (e.g. http://www.att.com/devicesupport, 1-800-331-0500)
  • Email domain names (not entire addresses) configured (e.g. withinwindows.com, contoso.com)
  • Entire contents of the equivalent services file on Windows Phone (e.g. \etc\services)
  • Name of enabled email services (e.g. Windows Live, Google)
  • Processes and configured SIDs running on the device (e.g. servicesd.exe, clocknot.exe, …)

Although the data is being sent when connected to the PC via USB, it sends this data every time, even outside of the email account setup process. The packets of data range anywhere between 1kb and 6kb, but have an irregular transmission schedule.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft helping partners push iPad out of enterprise

Next Story

Verizon iPhone hotspot will cost you $20 a month

10 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

MrBurrrns said,
This article = FAIL.

Please take it down, it's embarrassing.

Agreed. Here's one they can post in it's place.

"Microsoft says the massive data use is due to third party apps. To further investigate this, I ate a popscicle and determined that it was red."

Neb Okla said,

Agreed. Here's one they can post in it's place.

"Microsoft says the massive data use is due to third party apps. To further investigate this, I ate a popscicle and determined that it was red."

MrBurrrns said,
This article = FAIL.

Please take it down, it's embarrassing.

For those of use with WP7 devices, it's nice to have the imperical proof.
You're fail in your myopic view of the world.

Neb Okla said,

Agreed. Here's one they can post in it's place.

"Microsoft says the massive data use is due to third party apps. To further investigate this, I ate a popscicle and determined that it was red."

OffT
That's a shame, green popsicles rock!

OnT
Seems like everybody wants to get their name in for finding something...jonesing for our 15 minutes of fame are we Rafael?

Wasnt the Phantom Data adding up to 450MB per month? Surely that doesnt work out, unless 6kb is fired out every few seconds?

Benjy91 said,
Wasnt the Phantom Data adding up to 450MB per month? Surely that doesnt work out, unless 6kb is fired out every few seconds?

Of cause it doesn't. That's because the feedback doesn't have anything to do with the huge data usage.

Here's the rest of what he said:

"Despite the wealth of information being transmitted, I haven't (yet) seen anything humongous. These packets range from 1 kilobyte to 6 kilobytes, firing off on what seems to be an infrequent transmission schedule. Until AT&T sends me a $11,000 bill, I'll keep Feedback on; the Windows Phone guys need it."