Although this post has nothing to do with the law, yet, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario involving Microsoft, T-Mobile, and hundreds of thousands of angry customers who have lost all the data from their Sidekick phones that doesn’t eventually end up becoming a legal issue, so we’re just getting a head start here.
Here’s a synopsis of the action thus far: Microsoft purchased a company called Danger, which had developed a mobile phone called a Sidekick. The Sidekick was the first phone to store users data in what’s called an online “cloud”. In other words, all the data in the phone, contact lists, events, photos, was stored in servers belonging to Microsoft, and not in the phone itself. T-Mobile has an exclusive license to provide service for Sidekick users.
Had there been cell phones in ancient Athens, Euripides would almost certainly have written a play about what happened next. Earlier this month, the servers hosting the data cloud suffered a catastrophic failure. Users begin experiencing intermittent service outages and then the data started disappearing. Engineers began working on restoring the servers, and Sidekick users now have uninterrupted service once again. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the data has likely been lost forever says a statement released Saturday afternoon. Engineers are still working on the problem but there doesn’t appear to be much hope.
On T-Mobiles site, Sidekick’s are now listed as “temporarily out of stock”. Customers who have lost data are being offered one month of free service by T-Mobile. Call me cynical, but I have trouble believing one month of free service is going to do much to calm the angry masses…
Microsoft now says it is optimistic that much of the data previously thought lost will be recovered. Some users have already been able to retrieve missing data. T-Mobile is now offering a $100 credit for anyone that loses a substantial amount of data.