Microsoft is going to offer a free "Find My Phone" feature for Windows Phone 7 devices that will help users find missing phones with maps, ring tones, lock and erase capabilities.
Company officials announced the new feature, which will be available via a new Windows Phone Live site, on July 13, the second day of the company's Worldwide Partner Conference, attended by more than 14,000.
The new Windows Phone Live site will provide WP7 users with a 25 GB of SkyDrive storage, plus a central place to store and view photos, share Windows Live calendar contacts and exchange files and documents. (It's not clear whether this site will use any of the similar Kin Studio technologies or features. I've asked; stay tuned.)
Update 1: Microsoft officials said the new Windows Phone Live site doesn't make use of anything developed by/for the Kin team. the "Find My Phone" functionality is the successor to Windows Mobile's MyPhone, a company spokesperson said.
Windows Phone 7 devices are expected to be launched in October and to be available from various handset makers and carriers shortly thereafter. Company officials said today that at launch, Windows Phone 7 will support 5 languages; English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. The Windows Phone Marketplace will support the buying and selling of applications in 17 countries; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, UK and United States, they added.
Microsoft also announced at the partner conference that it will begin distributing Windows Phone devices to selected mobile developers on July 19. The company also made another beta release available of the Windows Phone Developer Tools on Monday. That SDK includes betas of Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, Windows Phone Emulator, Silverlight for Windows Phone, Expression Blend for Windows Phone and XNA Game Studio 4.0. The final version of the toolset is expected in about a month.
Microsoft unveiled a "find my phone" type service for its Windows Mobile phones a year ago. That service was part of what's known as Microsoft My Phone.
Update No. 2: In other Windows Phone 7 news, Microsoft also announced today that Intuit is developing an SDK for Windows Phone 7, to help developers write Windows Phone 7 applications that interface with the Intuit Partner Platform's cloud services for businesses, including QuickBooks. Intuit and Microsoft announced earlier this year that they were developing an SDK that would connect Intuit's partner Platform services and Windows Azure.