Microsoft announces anti-theft features coming to Windows Phone in the next year

Windows Phone

Microsoft has taken to its corporate blog to re-affirm its participation in the Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment, which the company signed at CTIA this April. Fred Humphries, Microsoft’s VP of U.S. Government Affairs, announced that Microsoft will meet the commitment by July 2015, with new features to its Find My Phone app to better protect Windows Phone users from theft. Those features include the ability to remotely erase personal data, render the phone inoperable (with the exception of 911 calls), prevent reactivation without authorized permission, and reverse inoperability and restore user data if the smartphone is recovered.

Microsoft’s announcement comes at a time when iPhone users are starting to reap the benefits of similar additions made by Apple to iOS 7 last year. According to the New York Times, police forces in New York, San Francisco, and London are reporting as much as 38% drops in iPhone theft since last Fall. Police attribute the drop to the Activation Lock feature in iOS 7’s Find My iPhone app, which can remote lock and wipe devices, eliminating any potential resale benefits from successful thievery. Hopefully, Windows Phone users will see a similar drop within the next year.