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Sidekick pulled; Microsoft may have had no backup

updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon October 12, 2009

Microsoft mistake may have cost Sidekick service

A major, avoidable error by Microsoft caused the permanent Sidekick data loss from over a week ago, sources said this weekend. Multiple tips to Hiptop3 claim that Microsoft had no backup of the Storage Area Network (SAN) used to hold Sidekick information and lost the data when Hitachi encountered a failure during an upgrade. The company may now have little choice but to start fresh and have users re-sync data from their Sidekicks once a fresh SAN is ready.

Microsoft has neither confirmed nor denied the details of the failure but on Sunday told the Wall Street Journal that it's aware the outage is an "extraordinary situation" and is taking every step possible to restore service.

Although still controversial and unconfirmed, rumors have maintained that the failure may stem from Microsoft thinning Sidekick support at Danger by either letting staff go or diverting some of them towards its in-house phone project, nicknamed Pink. The change may have left just a small team with heavy outsourcing as the only ones left to orchestrate the backup.

Regardless of cause, T-Mobile has recently had to pull all Sidekicks from stores and hasn't said if or when it expects to sell the messaging phones again.

by MacNN Staff



  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Now that's some efficiency!

    In one fell swoop they just made people distrust both their mobile properties and their own about-to-be-launched cloud computing initiative.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Get an iPhone!

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I bet T-Mobile is pleased with MS

    I spoke recently with a friend who has a Sidekick and a couple of her friends have them as well. She is PISSED with T-Mobile and can't wait to go elsewhere when her contract is up.

    It seems a fair number of people (in this unscientific, anecdotal survey) simply trusted the cloud and never backed up their Sidekick. What's more, I heard several tales of those who had removed their battery to restart their Sidekick, which I guess is how you 'reboot' it. Then they were later told, "NO DON'T POWER IT DOWN OR YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING!" Oops, thanks, too late now.

    I'm sure there will be those who will say, 'well they were stupid, they should have backed them up.' But the fact is, they were led to believe that they could trust the cloud and if anybody should have ensured a backup, it's Microsoft. This is simply inexcusable and what's more, everyone is going to blame T-Mobile and not Microsoft. I'm doing what I can to make Sidekick owners aware that it's Microsoft that just F'd them in the A, but that's going to be a losing cause. T-Mobile is going to take the hit on this and I bet this is the final nail in the coffin of "Pink".

    Who the h*** in their right mind would want to work with Microsoft on a phone after this fiasco? T-Mobile sure won't. They just had to yank all the Sidekicks and then give everyone who has one a free month of data usage, which will be a nice hit on their revenue and won't do all that much to make people feel better about this.

  1. JTh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The other option...

    Since the iPhone isn't available, T-Mobile (at least T-Mobile US) should allow Sidekick users the option to switch to Android with no penalties whatsoever - and MS should foot the bill for doing so.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wrong title

    "Microsoft had no backup"

    If they had a backup, peoples data would not have been completely lost.

  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Now, Testudo and other stupid MS-fanboys that infest this portal: Isn't Microshaft GREAT? Aren't they amazingly competent in dealing with people's cloud data? And you still wanna compare iPhones, iPods and Macs with their c***? Go eat some crow and shut the h*** up!

    Apple RULES!

  1. DeezNutts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    f*ck the "cloud"

    I don't care if its Microsoft, Apple or anyone else. NEVER trust important information to a 3rd party. Look at storing data on someone else's server as 'convient', but never trust that the provider will take care of your data.

    As for this specific issue, I think it paints the picture of what really happened with the purchase of danger. MS didn't care about the existing product line, they just wanted the engineering talent and they treated the existing product like a legacy system by delegating the cheapest outsourced labor to handle it. The bare minimum. Not cool and not a good way to treat customers.

    Seriously though I have issues with both MS and Apple doing 'cell phones'. MS has proven with this fiasco that they probably can't handle the business. Apple has proven with the iphone that while being great at software, they kinda suck at doing handheld hardware.

    I'll take a pass on both of them and stick with a simple straight forward phone from an established carrier myself.

  1. mprogers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is a job for ...

    Time Machine! Or, in this case, not.

    It is astounding that this could have happened.

  1. b9robot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Irresponsible Microsoft!

    No backups on a major public server for a major wireless company like T-Mobile. If that isn't just plain irresponsible, I don't know what is? I've never heard of a company running a server and not having any backups for it. It's just plain ridiculous!

  1. Penguirl

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Backup your backup

    Obviously one backup is not enough to protect your data. Personal data should be backed up at least twice, one local and one remote. If the data is mission critical it would be good to have two remote backups in different locations and maybe two local copies in case one becomes corrupt. However most users are not willing to go to the proper lengths to insure their data will be available, and then when it bites them they blame someone else.

    Data loss is inevitable, proper backups are the only protection you have. And congratulations Microsloth, you've managed to mis-manage Sidekick, Danger, Pink, and WinMo 6.5 & 7 simultaneously. That is mis-management of epic proportions.

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