Windows Phone 7 feedback feature only uses a few kilobytes of data

new_att_plans_past_data_chartThe puzzle of erratic high data usage on a small minority of Windows phone 7 handsets have seen some users blame Microsoft’s built-in usage feedback feature, which is somewhat annoyingly enabled by default, set to use both WIFI and 3G, and difficult to disable, with the feature returning to the enabled state after a soft reset automatically.

Rafael Rivera, famously from the ChevronWP7 team, has had a look at what exactly is included in the data exchange.  He found that the information sent is not the most efficient, for example not being compressed, and often sends information, such as the domain name of your email address, which did not appear to be particularly relevant, and of course a full list of running processes and other debug information, but that in total the information still only came to a handful of kilobytes.

He writes:

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, …)

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.

He suggests users leave the option enabled, as Microsoft surely needs the feedback more than we need a few cents of data charges.

Read his full post here.

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