Microsoft Red-Faced After Massive Sidekick Data Loss

Unlucky T-Mobile Sidekick owners lost their contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists and photos this weekend when Microsoft subsidiary Danger suffered a technical glitch. Not all T-Mobile Sidekick owners were impacted, and the actual extent of the data loss is unclear. However, those affected have little hope of recovering lost data, according to Microsoft.

T-Mobile said that the loss is a result of a server failure at Microsoft, which acquired startup company Danger in February 2008. Danger operates the cloud computing service that stores the information for T-Mobile Sidekick customers.

There are more than one million Sidekick users. Thousands of Sidekick customers could have lost their personal data, according to sources. Microsoft is reportedly working on a fix for the problem, and will try to get the Sidekick devices that still have personal data on them to sync back to the servers. Microsoft and T-Mobile said that users who reset their Sidekick by removing the battery or draining it fully are most at risk of losing their data.

Bad News For Windows Mobile?

Microsoft stresses that it wasn't its own technology to blame in the Sidekick data loss, but rather Danger's technology, which the Redmond company inherited when it acquired Danger in 2008 for $500 million.

However, the embarrassment for Microsoft comes as there is no apparent backup of Sidekick users' data, according to a report from HipTop3. It is also unclear whether Microsoft will be able to recover any of the lost customers' data.

Bu the unfortunate coincidence is Microsoft's launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 devices last week, which in association with this weekend's Sidekick data loss could translate into reduced customer trust from potential Windows Phone buyers.

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