Microsoft probes Windows Phone 8 reboot weirdness

Some Windows Phone 8 users are experiencing spontaneous reboots and email sync problems. Microsoft executives say they're investigating.

Josh Miller/CNET

Windows Phone 8 devices just started hitting the market, but a number of users are reporting spontaneous reboots and email-sync issues with various devices on different carriers.

I had not had any issues with my loaner HTC 8X Windows Phone 8 on AT&T, which I've been testing since October 29 -- until yesterday, that is. This morning, my email accounts, as well as my Microsoft Account, were stuck in an endless loop of continually trying to sync. This was not happening on my Windows Phone 7 device (an HTC Trophy on Verizon). My Windows Phone 8 device also spontaneously rebooted this morning for the first time.

Checking Microsoft's forums, as well as the WPCentral forums, I've seen some users claim that uninstalling the Skype for Windows Phone 8 preview app, which Microsoft released last week, may fix the rebooting issue. (I tried uninstalling the Skype preview, but still couldn't get my email to resync until I wiped and restored the HTC 8X.)

I asked Microsoft officials whether there was any word on what's causing the reported reboot and email sync issues. The official statement: "We are currently investigating reports of these incidents." 

Over the weekend, I went to my local Verizon store and checked out the Windows Phone 8 display. (This is in midtown New York City, for those wondering.) Unlike the case when Windows 7 launched, Verizon was featuring two Windows Phone 8 devices -- the HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 822 -- quite prominently. The bad news? Very few HTC 8Xs were available on Saturday, three days after Verizon said devices would be available. This wasn't because of brisk sales; it was because the store had received very few units and only in black, a sales associate told me. I ordered the HTC 8X in California Blue and am due to receive the shipment this week.

Back to the reported Windows Phone 8 reboots/email problems. Officials with the Skype team had no comment as to whether there is any connection between the Skype Preview and these issues. They referred all questions to the Windows Phone team.

I realize I am just one tiny data point here, but I had no problems with the HTC 8X until I logged into Skype for Windows 8 last night and my Hotmail and Skype contacts merged. That possible coincidence aside, a number of users were complaining of reboot/sync problems before the Skype preview for Windows Phone 8 app was available publicly. So Skype may not be to blame at all.

If there are further updates from the Windows Phone or Skype teams, I'll update this post.

This story originally appeared on ZDNet under the headline "Microsoft investigating reported Windows Phone 8 reboots."

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