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Microsoft blames third party for WP7 data bug

Microsoft has released the world's vaguest statement regarding the ongoing problems Windows Phone 7 users are having with 'phantom' data transmission running up their mobile bills - blaming an unnamed third party for the problem.

The flaw, which we reported on earlier this month, sees Windows Phone 7 handsets transferring between 30MB and 50MB of data per day - even if users don't activate any Internet-connected functionality. For those on contracts that don't include data, that could add up to a significant cost.

Now, it looks like Microsoft is getting closer to finding the cause of the issue - but it's not revealing exactly what the problem is just yet.

Responding to a request for comment from local US news site SeattlePI, Microsoft claimed: "We have determined that a third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones is configured in a manner that potentially causes larger than expected data downloads.

"We are in contact with the third party to assist them in making the necessary fixes, and are also pursuing potential workarounds to address the configuration issue in case those are needed."

With no hint as to precisely which 'third-party solution' is at fault, it's hard to guess what Microsoft's fix is - and the company goes on to warn that this is merely responsible for 'most' of the incidents that have been reported: "We are investigating additional potential root causes for the remainder of the reports."

With only a small percentage of Windows Phone 7 users affected, it may not be a critical issue for Microsoft's latest mobile platform - but it's something the company needs to address sooner, rather than later.