back to article Microsoft's Sidekick restoration turns into farce

Microsoft played spot the difference over the weekend with statements on Saturday and Sunday that hinted at “steady progress” for the recovery of data its Danger subsidiary lost for many Sidekick customers. The data loss cockup was sparked by a major server outage at Danger, which provides data services to T-Mobile customers, …


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  1. John G Imrie

    Microsoft gives overoptimistic timescale

    Well who'd of thunk it.

    T-Mobile, although not smelling of Roses over this, at least are not smelling of the stuff you grow Roses in. That seams to be emanating from Redmond.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    good luck, ha ha ha

    Would you buy a car from a company named "Warning"? Would you eat a meal at a restaurant called "Look Out!"? No? Then why would you use a service provided by a company named "Danger" (or Microsoft)

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    There's a clue in the name.

    Well, what do you expect from a Data service called Danger?

    I guess they need to rebrand it "goshweareshitatthis" for the hard of thinking.

  4. Kerberos
    Paris Hilton

    The mind boggles...

    How can they not have any backups?!? Surely they should have older backups at least but _no_ backups?!? Madness. Who was running things? Paris Hilton?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    how I read it

    “The Danger/Microsoft team is continuing to work around the clock on the data restoration process. We apologise that this is taking so long, but we migrated all the client machines here to Windows Vista and they're sooooo slow. Copying large files? You can just forget about it"

  6. Scott 19
    Thumb Down


    Could someone show this to the idiots in Whitehall who seem to think that keep lagre amounts of data is easy, if these guys can't do it with all there clout in the data retention world what chance does dell boy have down Whitehall?

  7. Mathew White


    You entrust your data to a company called 'Danger'. I'd consider that fore warning ;)

  8. Jeremy Chappell


    Does Microsoft really need to make itself look THIS stupid? I can't imagine the stupidity that was required to get themselves into this hole in the first place, this is just making it even worse. How can it take this long to solve? Is anyone going to trust Microsoft's cloud offerings in the future?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    they are using Vista to copy the data back to the server!!

  10. Bilgepipe


    ...who's for uploading all of their data to this Azure thingie, then? Or anywhere in "the cloud?"


  11. James O'Shea Silver badge

    Mickeysoft timescales

    have always been overoptimistic. if it's from Mickeysoft and it arrives on time, it doesn't work. Although it really should be said that if it arrives late it usually doesn't work, either.

  12. John 104
    Dead Vulture

    Not Their Fault

    Can't really blame Redmond for this one. A subsidiary company had a failure. And apparently a poor disaster recovery plan - if any. It's a bitch, but tape is painful to restore from....

  13. Doug 3
    Paris Hilton

    Danger was/is BSD UNIX and Java based, so

    what do you expect Microsoft to do with that? They have always been willing to lose money on something which give their OS support and they do not care about income from products which are not exclusively tied to their Windows platform.

    Is this really a screwup or is this really some plan to jettison the Danger platform? Remember, outside of MS Office for the Mac, they don't do anything but Windows. So this could be a case where they want to bring out something to replace this( Pink? ) or just maybe they've figured it was time to kill off yet another Java based platform?

    As far as anyone believing public comments from Microsoft goes, you've got to be quite naive to do that. Didn't Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer change their middle names to "Spin" over a decade ago? They've been at this for twice that long.

    Paris because she knows how to spin too.

  14. John G Imrie

    @John 104

    Actually you can.

    From what I've read about this on the web, most of the teckies where encouraged to leave after MS took over. And thoes that where left where ignored when they said that a data backup should be taken.

  15. Andy Watt

    (insert as appropriate) Will Robinson!

    Love the line

    "We apologise that this is taking so long, but we want to make sure we are doing everything possible to maintain the integrity of your data"

    It's the word "maintain" which makes me giggle!

    The internet is an unstable place, and the bigger you make the potential loss when failure occurs, the more precautions you'd better take to ensure close to 100% uptime if you can. Virgin lost a router and its' backup in Winnersh recently, causing a large chunk of the west of london area to lose internet connectivity - including my office, which uses a virgin media link to hook up to our base site further up the country. We were cut off for a fair while, a few hours, but it's a cautionary tale.

    If you value your data, don't send it off into the webs and expect it to be safe - apart from the phishers, stuff like the sidekick debacle can happen. Back up locally and archive to optical media / etc as well as convenient clouds...

    Then again, if you back up locally and to more permanent media why bother with the cloud?

  16. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Microsoft only does Windows?? Really!

    While I am by no means a Microsoft apologist, your assessment of the company as a whole is incredibly narrow.

    First off, if they wanted to kill Java, they would have to develop something to replace it and be fairly well compatible (note I said "fairly well,") and doing so requires that someone know Java thoroughly. Secondly, they certain do not and have not ever only done Office on the Mac outside of Windows. At the very least Microsoft has offered Unix integration kits for quite some time, having also developed their own flavor of Unix back when doing so was considered Tres.

    And in the end, as we know better know, the Danger system, which is a subsidiary of Microsoft, was run on Sun Solaris machines with Oracle database back-ends. The failure is only minimally the fault of Microsoft, and I assure you that when Danger called Mama in to help, Mama had people on-hand more than capable of handling the situation

    Paris, because she knows better than to feed the trolls.

  17. Flocke Kroes Silver badge


    The rumour is they did have one backup:

    Just before a planned upgrade, the techies started a new backup - on top of the only back because they did not have anywhere else to put it. After two days, the PHB got impatient and was not prepared to wait another four days for the backup to be completed (LOTS of data). She decided to halt the backup and proceed with the upgrade.

    When your PHB won't shell out for a second set of backup media, you know your setup is being cost cut to shreds.

  18. Chris iverson


    Directed to /dev/null cause it makes them fast

  19. Doug Glass

    @John 104

    Oh yes you can. It was Microsoft who chose Danger and asked customers to put their trust in the Microsoft/Danger arrangement. That makes Microsoft culpable.

  20. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    @John 104

    Microsoft 'encouraged' the incubent techies to leave, then installed their own (I won't call them techies) who knew nothing about a very complex database. Then they ignored the warnings of the remaining techies. When things went tits up their guys tried to muddle though without asking the remaining few that actually had a clue - because they couldn't admit they screwed the pooch.

    Interestingly there had been no significant failures of the system previously.

    Further lies:

    Claims it was linux/BSD - it was a bespoke OS.

    Claims it was sabotage - How convenient.

    Claims it was everyone's fault but theirs - bollix.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @Alan W. Rateliff, II re: MS, Sun, Java, etc.

    1/10 troll harder

    Where have you been hiding?

    Though, I'll grant you that calls from MS to Sun's tech support may be on hold for a while. "We're experiencing larger than normal call volume... You may expect to wait another [cough, until hell freezes over! ha ha ha ha ha] minutes for the next available representative."

  22. RTNavy
    Thumb Down

    Cloud Computing Expectations?

    Is this what is meant by the "cloud"?

    Keep everything in the cloud, and when Danger approaches all is lost?

  23. SilverWave

    Trust MS



  24. Richard 102

    Some information

    Interesting article (as part of a series of articles) on this over at Roughly Drafted. Take the usual grain of salt, but having sifted the definite wheat from the potential chaff, I'd say this looks like a major cockup that has a lot more to do with MS' management and culture than any backend software/hardware issues. I'm not sure if this is 100% confirmed what happened, but it is certainly all too believable.

  25. Anonymous Coward


    I thought anyone with less that shit for brains would have learnt by now that Microsoft's "Backup" (anything) wasn't worth 2 dead dogs rooting in a blizzard.

    When it comes to Microsoft... a pencil and a folder has much going for it.

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