Microsoft Mess Spells Danger for T-Mobile

Leave it to Microsoft to kick itself in the gonads just days before a huge product launch. This particular incident doesn't even involve Windows or any Microsoft product, but a subsidiary that probably few people associate with Redmond.

Some background: As any T-Mobile Sidekick user will tell you, for the past week they've been unable to get their e-mail or other data because of an outage at Danger, the company that (allegedly) manages the Sidekick database. On Saturday T-Mobile admitted what no Sidekick user wanted to hear: Danger had lost the data.

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No real-time disaster recovery, no backups, no nuthin'. All of its users' e-mails, contacts, photos, videos, and so on had shuffled off their mortal coil and were now residing in Data Valhalla, never to return.

T-Mobile delivered the bad news in a letter to Sidekick users on its support forum:

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.

What does this have to do with Microsoft? In April 2008, Danger was acquired by the Redmond giant, presumably to help them develop smartphone software that was less lame than Windows Mobile. (Because it's not possible to make something that's more lame, IMHO.)

The obvious question: What were they thinking? Letting Microsoft acquire a company called Danger is like buying a pit bull named "Killer" and letting him sleep in the henhouse. It's only a matter of time before you've got blood and feathers everywhere.

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