T-Mobile raises Sidekick from the dead
Microsoft meltdown (not) forgotten
T-Mobile resumed sales of its benighted Sidekick smart(ish)phone on Tuesday morning, six weeks after a cloudburst swamped the once-popular status symbol.
In early October, a catastrophic server failure at a Microsoft subsidiary - the all-too-prophetically named Danger - wiped out Sidekick users' personal data that had been stored on the company's cloudy system.
Although the failure was Microsoft's, the damage was borne mostly by T-Mobile, which suffered a debilitating knee in the PR groin due to the loss of faith by its Sidekick customers.
And T-Mobile thought the Paris Hilton hacking was damaging to its reputation.
There was a silver lining to this particular cloud, however - although one that may not have been glimpsed by T-Mobile, Microsoft, or Danger: It got people talking about whether cloud-based storage is truly worthy of trust, and whether a data-safety code of practice should be instituted among cloud service providors.
But such talk is too late for Sidekick users. And, possibly, too late for the Sidekick itself - a handset which, as The Reg has pointed out, relies heavily on server-based storage.
So T-Mobile is again offering the Sidekick for sale: the Sidekick LX 2009 at $149.99 and the Sidekick 2008 for $49.99, both with a two year contract.
But after the events of the past six weeks, will anyone care? ®
"Well, sir, T-Mobile can assure you, that to the best of our knowledge, our staff sold all your data to a variety of companies in Bangalore, Bangkok, and a shadowy group of Lithuanians - so as soon as any of them answer their telephones, we should be able assemble a backup."
Its really too bad, Danger...
Danger had a good thing going, very well designed platform and phone setup, they were very hip for their time. its really too bad they got infected by that coolness killing, image ruining, reputation destroying disease known as Microsoft, and now they're doomed to a future image of looking like a bunch of old men way out of touch with style, still trying to look cool, with really bad comb overs...
kinda like the current Microsoft execs...
They will come, and some will come back
The service is running again. And whether or not Microsoft/Danger/T-Mobile promises this will never happen again and offers tours of the data centers to prove it (whatever that would do,) they will come back. People who were affected will forget as all or most of their data is restored. People who still see the Sidekick as a status symbol will still want one because, face it, six weeks is forever ago in this fast-paced world.
And many of those who left to try a smart phone with a chunky-client approach to storage -- synchronized on the handset and somewhere in the cloud -- using Google and ActiveSync, will come back after finding that it is just too hard to manage connections themselves. They will want to return to the transparent interface that Just Works(tm).
My skepticism says that this will not kill the Sidekick, or T-Mobile. Though I would find it interesting if it did one or both.
Paris, she did one or both already and got the t-shirt, we got the video.