Users can set the service to automatically back up phone data once a day. They can also store photos, for example, on My Phone online and later restore those photos to the phone.
My Phone only comes with 200MB of storage space and IDC's Ryan wasn't clear on the market need for the service. "The idea of a smartphone is everything is backed up on the PC too, so I don't fully understand it," he said. "Maybe for people who don't want to or don't know how to back up on a PC might find this more intuitive."
Rockfeld said My Phone will be valuable for people who lose their phones or who want to upgrade their device but worry about the hassle of transferring all their data to a new phone.
The service is different from Apple's Mobile Me, said Rockfeld. "Mobile Me from Apple is really about PIM [personal information manager] synching," he said. Microsoft figures it has sync covered with Exchange, which syncs e-mail, calendar and contacts with Windows Mobile devices.
He also differentiates between My Phone and Mesh, another Microsoft offering. Mesh is more about syncing items from specified folders and sharing that data among multiple PCs and phones. "My Phone is truly a backup and restore service," he said. "Will these things work more closely together in the future? It makes sense."
The My Phone service is based on technology Microsoft acquired along with MobiComp in June last year.
Microsoft also announced at MWC that as part of a new contract LG Electronics will make Windows Mobile its primary, although not exclusive, mobile-phone software platform for the next four years. LG plans to launch 50 new Windows Mobile phones, including 25 in 2012, as part of the agreement, Rockfeld said.