Many Sidekick Users Out of Danger: Data Restore Possible, Microsoft Says

Microsoft reversed a previous statement about data recovery for T-Mobile Sidekick users, noting that it now seems possible that some data will be restored. Previously, a server outage at Microsoft's Sidekick servers destroyed restoration data, and Microsoft and T-Mobile had said that recovery was next to impossible.

"Recent efforts indicate the prospects of recovering some lost content may now be possible," a joint statement from Microsoft T-Mobile reads. "We will continue to keep you updated on this front; we know how important this is to you."

Indeed, some Sidekick users are already reporting that recovered data is being retransmitted to their phones. T-Mobile is offering a $100 payment and a free month of service to those customers who cannot recover their data.

Days after the companies first acknowledged the issue, some questions remain. Neither company has said what, exactly, happened, though the leading rumor concerns the failure of a routine upgrade to the Danger storage network that Microsoft runs. (Microsoft has only said that an unnamed "server failure" was the cause.

And it's unclear how many users were really affected by this issue. It's most likely a very small number, belying the sheer amount of news coverage this event has received. All told, there are over 1 million Danger Sidekick users, but to be affected by this issue, one would have to completely remove the device's battery at the wrong time and then attempt an online data recovery.

Speaking of sensationalist news coverage, many have equated the Sidekick issue with a failure in Microsoft's overall cloud computing strategy. This is not the case at all, Microsoft says. "The Sidekick runs on Danger's proprietary service that Microsoft inherited when it acquired Danger in 2008," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "The Danger service is built on a mix of Danger-created technologies and third-party technologies. Microsoft's other cloud computing projects are totally separate from the Danger Service and do not rely on the Danger Service technology."

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