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Spatwatch

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Every now and then there's a fun little spat between tech giants, and this week it's Microsoft and Yahoo!. The two are generally allies, and even considered a merger a couple of years ago. But there's been a bit of a blame game going on this week between them.

You see, a few weeks ago, Windows Phone 7 users started complaining about excessive data charges on their bills. Something on their phones was using data by the bucketload, burning up 50MB or more a day - far more than the paltry amounts most are allowed by their operators. Gigantic bills ensued.

Microsoft has been scrabbling to work out what's causing the problem. Then the penny dropped - the one thing all the people complaining of the problem had in common. They were using Yahoo! Mail.

It turns out that Yahoo's Mail servers were the source of the problem - they've been continuing to transmit data once a user thinks they've disconnected. So you'd think Yahoo! Would be pretty apologetic, right?

Well, no. Yahoo's take is: it's all Microsoft's fault. Yahoo! Mail connects to Windows Phone 7 phones using IMAP, a standard connection system for mail. But the Windows Phone 7 version of IMAP is what Yahoo calls 'non-standard', and the problem with Yahoo Mail is 'specific to how Microsoft chose to implement IMAP' on WP7. Yahoo say the best way to fix the problem is for Microsoft to 'change to a standard way of integrating with Yahoo! Mail'.

In other words: 'you broke it, Microsoft. You fix it.'

No words yet on what's going to happen, but now the problem's been identified, some sort of fix should be ready sooner or later...

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