Apple charges $99 per year for the MobileMe service which, among other things, allows users to locate a missing phone on a map and remotely lock their device or wipe their data to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Yesterday Research in Motion announced that it would soon offer a similar service called BlackBerry Protect… but for free. And today Microsoft is getting in on the action, with the announcement of Windows Phone Live, a free web-based service that will, among other things, let you locate a phone, remotely lock it, erase data, or make it ring.

But while BlackBerry Protect is aimed primarily at security, Windows Phone Live is much more than that. Basically, it’s integrated with Microsoft’s other Windows Live services, including SkyDrive. That means that Windows Phone 7 users will have 25GB of free online storage space for storing files in the cloud.

Microsoft describes Windows Phone Live as a “central place to see pictures they’ve published, view their Windows Live calendar and contacts,” and access OneNote files and other data that you can share between your phone and the Windows Live web site.

It’s not entirely clear from today’s announcement — but it sounds like there’s a chance that Windows Phone Live might incorporate some of the technology from the ill-fated KIN Studio software. While the Microsoft KIN phones were a huge flop, the KIN Studio actually seemed like a pretty neat web-based solution for organizing photos, videos, text messages, and other data. Update: Alas, ZDNet reports that the new service won’t use anything developed by the KIN team.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...