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There is unprecedented demand for smartphones in the black market and to counter the growing menace of theft many companies provide software features that enable users to remotely locate or wipe their devices. With iOS 7 Apple introduced a new feature called Activation Lock. The feature doesn’t allow anyone to access a stolen device if they can’t prove they are the owner. Microsoft announced today that it is developing a similar feature for Windows Phone.

Back in April, Microsoft signed on to CTIA’s Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment, which entails that the company meet certain criteria before CTIA’s end goal of July 2015. To come through on its commitment Microsoft is going to extend the existing capabilities of the Find My Phone application on Windows Phone.

The new features will allow WP users to remotely erase any and all personal data on their device. Moreover it would also let them render the device unusable by unauthorized users, save for the ability to call 911. This is the feature that’s now commonly referred to as activation lock. Reactivation or setup of the smartphone will be prevented if there’ no permission from the authorized user.

Last but not the least users will be able to reactivate their device and recover data stored in the cloud should they be lucky enough to be reunited with their stolen or lost Windows Phone device. The new features will be offered as an update for all devices running Windows Phone 8.0 or higher. Details on availability will be provided at a later date.

Filed in Cellphones . Tags: Microsoft and Windows Phone.
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