updated 05:57 am EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Monitored list of 11 million hotspots to help mobile users
Microsoft is using a crowdsourced "curated" hotspot system in Windows Phone 8, in an effort to help its mobile users manage their mobile data costs. DeviceScape is providing the technology behind the Data Sense Wi-Fi map, including data for over 11 million hotspots that have been tested for speed and connection quality.
The network of hotspots DeviceScape monitors comes to around eight percent of the world's public and private access points, and has been taken advantage of by other companies before Microsoft. One deal announced in May saw Intel add the ability to automatically connect to open access points, relying on Intel's standard Smart Connect manager to maintain the connection after the device is put into hibernation.
Data Sense in WP8 will also use a combination of data compression and data usage tracking to help lower instances of mobile phone users going over their data plan allowances. Apps will be monitored to see how much data they use individually, with values for both Wi-Fi and cellular usage listed separately, while data compression used in web pages being viewed will ratchet up as the user gets closer to their monthly limit. Microsoft claims that the Data Sense system will allow its users to have 45-percent more usage of their data allowance than they would have otherwise had.