It was the most dramatic controversy to affected ratio event of the year, but thankfully it's now over. The T-Mobile Sidekick feature phone, made by Danger (which is owned by Microsoft now), experienced a huge data loss when the Danger servers crashed at HQ, taking client data with it. It's an unusual data relationship for mobile devices, especially non-smart phones. However, the phones copy all their saved data to the cloud for backup purposes, but for some reason, the cloud has priority in case of emergency (probably if the phone was blank, the cloud would restore). This means that the cloud restored the NOTHINGNESS on its drives onto the phones should the phones ever power off/on. the best case scenario was if users kept their phones alive as long as possible.
The cause? Between the phone's manufacturer and its recent owner, it's looking like a failure to accurately organize data infrastructure and identify possible points of failure in case of an emergency. After all, the whole fiasco affected all of 10 people. Some accusations are even pointing to some form of data sabotoge from the inside. Regardless, that didn't stop users from blaming the people they pay (T-Mobile) and filing a class action lawsuit. From left field, mobile device maker Peek offered their product to Sidekick owners for free as a way to get them off T-Mobile (even though you pay for the Peek service).
Within hours, users were reporting that their phones' data was gone, including contacts, messages and apps. All major blogs were talking about it, making obligatory 'Danger' references. After the fun was had at MS's expense, a small number of users were reporting that their data was returning. That's good, I guess, not that anyone was hoping to use this as an excuse to get an actual smartphone. Merely days later, Microsoft announced that "most, if not all" data had been restored to all devices. That's a pretty dramatic change from the earlier "all your data is gone" status. The reasoning behind MS's determination to restore service lies in the SLA that it acquired when it acquired Danger. Danger has a 99.5% uptime SLA with T-Mobile, and should uptime fall below that, the penalty is $700,000/day in T-Mobile's favor. That hefty fine certainly answers how T-Mobile was able to 'apologize' to its users by not only crediting them for a month of service, but also giving them a $100 'customer appreciation card' to be used however they wish with T-Mobile. How is this affected by the fact that people are getting their data back? Maybe they won't get that apology from T-Mobile after all, and maybe that class action suit won't fly in court. Only time will tell, but in the mean time, the rest of the world will be using modern phones.