Not Pointing Fingers – Microsoft and Sidekicks

Steve Jones, 2009-10-23

Someone posted a note on Twitter about the Sidekick fiasco. Apparently the servers that lost data weren’t Microsoft servers. They were actually Oracle, Sun, and Linux servers that were at a Verizon data center. Microsoft bought Danger last year, and when they had issues, they spent time and resources to recover the data. And T-mobile, and possibly Microsoft, is giving customers some credit for the hassles.

I had a Sidekick for awhile, and my son has one as well. I thought it was a great device when I had it, with an easy to use keyboard, and some nice features. I’m not sure how they’ve changed since the Sidekick III, but now that I’ve had an Android phone, and an iPhone, I think it’s way behind the features in those devices.

I suppose some people will spin this as Microsoft not necessarily having the expertise to run these servers, but that’s silly. Microsoft bought Danger, who presumably had the talent to administer these. They were at the data center they’ve been hosted at for some time, which also likely has talent there to help out.

What was amazing is that Microsoft didn’t try to spin the PR on this and say this was an Oracle or Sun issue. They left it alone, letting plenty of people blame MS software and use this as an example of why Microsoft software is poorly written.

But was it MS software?

This report says that Microsoft may have been attempting to move the service, and that’s certainly possible. Maybe they were to blame and didn’t want to raise that issue.

I don’t know that a root cause will ever be reached, but I can definitely see T-Mobile moving the Sidekick brand to an Android phone. It’s a better OS, it saves them $$, and they consolidate some of their own support.

This does show that the cloud is an issue. I have my devices sync with Google on the cloud for various things, but it keeps copies locally. Something everyone needs to do with cloud services.

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