Microsoft My Phone takes on Apple

One of My Phone's most useful features is SMS message backup. You can see all your texts on line, and what's more important, you can search them quickly and easily without having to pick up a phone. You can't send text messages from the Web site though, which some pay-for backup services do allow

My Phone is only one of Microsoft's many different synchronisation services, and Live Mesh is already in beta on Windows Mobile devices. Patron claims they're complementary, noting that Live Mesh is "for moving info around multiple devices". Even so, the two services are likely to come together in future, and he admits "we're looking at aligning with Live Mesh, also with SkyDrive."

The range of apps and ease of use will determine if Marketplace for Mobile will open up application download to the mass market the way Apple's App Store has. My Phone offers a different set of tools from Mobile Me (both synchronise contacts but My Phone doesn't put them into a PC address book), but having a free backup service built in would be a big plus for Windows Mobile – if more people remembered that backup was important before they'd lost their phone.