Microsoft syncs Windows Mobile devices

Microsoft has launched a mobile phone synchronisation service called My Phone, alongside rumours that the tech giant is planning its own software store.

Microsoft's My Phone beta not to be confused with Apple's iPhone, of course lets users sync their mobile devices and backup their data, so they can restore if they lose their handset or buy a new phone.

MyPhone will also let users view their data via a web browser, with any edits synchronised to their handset automatically.

Microsoft's My Phone is limited to 200MB of storage space. While it will store contacts, calendar, photos, text messages and other phone-based data, it will not store details from Exchange servers, Windows Live, or anything held on SIM cards or external memory cards.

The news comes as reports in the Wall Street Journal suggests Microsoft is planning its own software store, comparable to Apple's App Store. According to that newspaper, the software store will be an "online bazaar" for phones running the Windows Mobile operating system.

And it's about time, according to Nick Jones, vice president and analyst at Gartner. "Microsoft's online mobile application store is pretty much a me too' option trailing behind Apple," he said in a statement. "This is the sort of thing you need to have to succeed in the mobile platform space, but as the mathematicians say, it's a necessary but not sufficient condition for success." Microsoft's press officers were still working to confirm the report at the time of publication.