Microsoft’s activation lock theft control may launch ahead of schedule?
If you all remember, a ton of OEMs and software companies pledged to come-up with interesting solutions in order to avoid smartphone theft. While this is not necessarily a “kill switch”, the idea is to make theft of phones less compelling, even though there is no such thing as a perfect service. We all saw how Apple did this back in September with iOS 7, were now a user can avoid thieves from wiping a device and making it theirs after stealing the device, and now Redmond wants a piece of the pie.
Microsoft is reportedly already working on giving us activation control with the launch of Windows Phone 8.1. This would be ahead of schedule, as the CTIA agreement that these companies signed requires the service to go live by July 2015. Microsoft’s plan is to enhance its current “Find my phone” feature with some additional tools to help you control what thieves do with your phone, and not just the usual wiping feature that we’ve known for years.
We do expect Google to do the same for Android, though we know that there is a significant level of complexity here, even though the Android Device Manager does a great job. We should expect this to go official either at the time of the Windows Phone 8.1 launch, or a tad later.