A user uproar, rumors of sabotage, and embarrassing intra-organization finger-pointing–that’s how the Microsoft’s Sidekick user data loss fiasco has unfolded. But it may soon be over: Microsoft’s working on recovering the data.
In a press release on its Web site that takes the form of an open letter to its Sidekick customers, Microsoft explains what’s happening. Apparently some swift footwork by the tech guys in Microsoft’s mysterious back room has resulted in the recovery of “most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage.” That’s fabulous news for anyone who suddenly lost all their info on their Sidekick, even while Microsoft remains tight-lipped on exactly what happened, apart from noting “a system failure” that affected both core and backup operations.
The plan is to quickly restore the data to affected users, starting with contact info and moving on to other organizational data like calendar entries before tackling lower-priority stuff like photos and game history info and so on.
The open letter, from Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Premium Mobile Experiences, Roz Ho, includes some very humbly apologetic words–it begins “On behalf of Microsoft I want to apologize” and notes that “we are working all-out to resolve the situation.” More than anything else, the event will have taught Microsoft that it needs to retain a robust support and backup regime if its to avoid seriously bad PR (the company notes it’s already instigated a “more resilient backup process.”) But it’s also highlighted to the public that while cloud-based services–such as the way personal info is managed by Sidekicks–offer the promise of increased data security, they’re not infallible. If your device allows for it, a physical copy held locally is absolutely vital if your data is very precious to you.