back to article MS says so sorry to Sidekick users

Microsoft has apologised for the failure of servers managing data on Sidekick devices, and promised that most customers will get their data back by Saturday. In an open letter Roz Ho, VP of Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft, apologises for the "recent problems". She then claims that "most, if not all" of the data has …


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  1. Dougle


    "we are taking immediate steps to help ensure this does not happen again"

    Sidekick are switching to debian?

  2. IT specialist


    Security problems seem to follow Microsoft like a swarm of blowflies.

    The explanation given, that a "system failure that created data loss in the core database and backup", actually tells us nothing. Microsoft has an obligation to come clean and tell us what really happened to cause this debacle.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Sidekicks

    I work in tech support for T-Mobile UK and I must say, Sidekicks are the bane of my life. Awful devices. The problem though is, when this all went down over the pond, it affected the UK customer base. With anything else we would pick things up quickly but our subscriber base on Sidekick is so small it took a couple of days to filter into tech support.

    Unfortunately for our customers, they did the logical thing when the device wouldnt sync properly and they rebooted it, losing the data. It would have been nice for Microsoft to let us know about these problems when they started, so we could avoid the general anger that was delivered towards us all week...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Happy Clouding

    Let this be a lesson to anyone who still believes Cloud computing is the way forward.

    It is stupid to trust in others to keep your data safe. Accidents like this WILL happen and when dealing with the likes of Google et al then your data will also be pimped as privacy is merely a word in an ancient dictionary.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Jeremy Chappell

    Restore faith?

    At this point it makes little difference if they can restore the data or not (from a perception point of view). There is a point where you've been without the data so long that it's recovery becomes mute. I'm sure most Sidekick users aren't there yet, but as a business proposition we'd already have passed that point. Anyone thinking of using cloud services for anything non-trivial will be given pause by this (especially if it involves Microsoft).

    I mean, imagine it was your desktop, with everything "gone" this kind of length of time a still only "hope" of recovery of "most of it" (which might or might not include YOUR data) now, remember you'd earlier been told there was "no hope" of recovery. How tolerable is that situation? Still trust the cloud?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Will they apologise for the Phone as well?

    And will T-Mobile do so as well for foisting a pile of crap on customers, despite raving how brilliant they were when they came out. My wife is stuck with hers and T-Mobile in the UK wont even offer anything for trading up.

  8. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Up to the customers to prevent synchronization?

    "Customers were advised to switch their Sidekicks off to prevent synchronisation attempts."

    A long time ago, almost in another life now, I worked for an ISP. We were investigating moving to a new mail server but knew that our system used an encryption on the POP3 passwords which had an unknown hash. (As an aside, I still monkey with this system, so if anyone knows where to find the hash algorithm for Post.Office, the Windows version of which has long since been done away with, I would appreciate a reference.) The solution of the new system was to capture the POP3 passwords used by customers' first session and store them.

    Not the most secure method by any means, but it certainly seemed a viable option.

    So when I read the line above, it hit me: why could Microsoft/Danger not have started a new database and captured data from the devices once authenticated? This would have saved data which still existed and given them cover time to work a recover solution for other data which could have been merged later.

    If not, then a far-end block of synchronization, and maybe even a quick text message to these poor souls saying "ZOMB WTF BBQ don't turn off your Sidekick!!!11!"

    Paris, a less-loss solution?

  9. Sureo
    Thumb Down


    System and backup both failed? Maybe they should backup their backup just in case. Nothing like a weak system design to provide a false sense of security.

  10. Chris Miller

    If only they'd used Linux

    They'd be immune from this type of disaster, just like Amazon and Google. Oh, wait ...

    Seriously, they fscked up a database upgrade and had inadequate backup procedures - how does this relate to which OS they use?

  11. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Anyone noticed the irony ..

    .. of Microsoft telling people NOT to reboot?


    Min'e the one with the iPhone..

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Shame on you *nix, shame!

    The irony of people abusing the service and Microsoft is that there have been a bunch of comments here (and elsewhere) about how it would all be better if it ran on *nix ... well, according to articles on the original Danger platform is does run on Linux (both servers and the phones),

    Shame MS hadn't ported the infrastructure across to their own toys ... maybe this wouldn't have happened

  13. Pirate Dave


    "restore some confidence in cloud services."

    Doesn't the word "restore" imply that there was confidence there to begin with? Haha. Yeah, right. I barely trust important data to hard drives in servers that I control, I couldn't imagine putting anything critical out in the "cloud". There's nothing nebulous about data security.

  14. Richard 102

    CNET had the best headline, inadvertantly

    "Deaf users sound off on Sidekick outage". Uh, you might want to rephrase that ...

  15. Daniel B.

    Re: Shame on you *nix, shame!

    I'd find it hilarious if they had actually *switched* to MS platforms by now. After a year, I'd expect them to do it; they did so with Hotmail, didn't they?

    In fact, one MS technology I have to use gives me the creeps because of this lack of backup capability: Active Directory. If I use any other LDAP, I can just dump everything into an LDIF, and load it up on another LDAP server... possibly even one from another vendor. MS will let me dump the LDIF all right, but all passwords will go poof, and you got a big fat chance your data won't be able to be loaded on the other AD!!!!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @Bloody Sidekicks (T-Mobile Support)

    Enough about Sidekick, when are we getting Donut for the G2/Hero?!

  17. Maryland, USA
    Gates Horns

    a "system failure"?

    Excuse me: It was a a human failure of colossal proportions...attempts to depersonify it notwithstanding.

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