updated 11:05 am EDT, Thu October 15, 2009
Sidekick data should be OK
Microsoft Premium Mobile Experiences VP Roz Ho on Thursday personally apologized for the Sidekick data outage from the past two weeks and now claims that the company has salvaged much of the data. In her letter, the executive claims that "most, if not all" of the contacts and other data has been recovered and that only a small number of users will actually risk losing data permanently. It and T-Mobile had previously warned that all users could face losing their data.
Ho has also provided partial illumination of what triggered the outage and claims that a "system failure" lost data not only on the main system but also a backup. Rebuilding the system has had to move slowly as data has been recovered at each step, she says. As yet unconfirmed rumors have circulated that the actual cause was a botched SAN upgrade with no reliable backup in place in the event of a failure. Some have alleged that Microsoft has dramatically scaled back Sidekick support since acquiring Danger in 2008 and has let it slip as a result.
Regardless of cause, the Microsoft VP is adamant that it's taking extra action and is both bolstering the stability of the Sidekick itself as well as installing a "more resilient" backup. A further status update is due on Saturday.
The recovery mitigates the crisis for Microsoft, its sub-brand Danger and T-Mobile, all of whom were facing criticism for the failure. Microsoft specifically may be at risk of having to pay T-Mobile for breaking a service level agreement guaranteeing uptime.
A number of lawsuits have already been filed against all of the companies, including a suit filed yesterday. The complaint from Maureen Thompson claims that the inability to quickly and properly recover the data was a sign of negligence and that the compensation, including the $30 service credit and a $100 gift card, wasn't sufficient to cover losses like those suffered by her daughter, who lost important business contacts and content.