Friday, October 16, 2009

Sidekick falls through the Cloud

In what is being described as the largest failing of "cloud computing" to date, about 1 million US owners of the T-Mobile Sidekick lost data stored on their mobile phones due to a back-up failure. A Microsoft subsidiary, Danger, operates the Sidekick data service.

T-Mobile and Microsoft announced that customers whose data could not be recovered will receive a $100 gift card in addition to one month data service credit. T-Mobile also temporarily halted sales of the Sidekick.

Microsoft later announced that all data will be restored, beginning with personal contacts. According to the company, the utage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back up. Microsoft says it has installed a "more resilient back-up process" to safeguard against a repeat incident.

See, "Phone sales hit by Sidekick loss," BBC News, October 12, 2009, at; "T-Mobile to Update Sidekick Users on Data Loss," San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 2009, at; "T-Mobile, Microsoft Promise $100 Gift Card For Lost Data," Information Week, October 13, 2009, at; "Microsoft recovers Sidekick data ," BBC News, October 15, 2009, at; "Danger Debacle Highlights Microsoft's Dilemma With Mobile ," Wall St. Journal, October 15, 2009, at