RealTime IT News

T-Mobile May Get Sidekick Data Back After All

All may not be lost for T-Mobile Sidekick users.

After saying yesterday that some unfortunate Sidekick owners' data, including contacts and stored photos, had been lost permanently during a server failure, T-Mobile today said it may "now be possible" to recover some of the content.

"T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger continue to do all we can to recover and return any lost information. Recent efforts indicate the prospects of recovering some lost content may now be possible," the carrier said in a notice on its Web site. "We will continue to keep you updated on this front; we know how important this is to you."

The loss of personal content came after a week of service outages for some users of the Sidekick smartphone. While the Sidekick operates on T-Mobile's network, its online services are operated by its maker, Danger, a unit of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Spokespeople at T-Mobile and Microsoft blamed glitches with Danger's servers as the cause for the outage, and the companies said they had worked over the weekend to stabilize the platform.

For those who do not get their data restored, the nation's No. 4 carrier said it would issue $100 "customer appreciation cards" that can be used for T-Mobile products and services or to pay a T-Mobile bill.

"For those who fall into this category, details will be sent out in the next 14 days -- there is no action needed on the part of these customers. We however remain hopeful that for the majority of our customers, personal content can be recovered," the notice said.

The news comes as major Web players' efforts to execute and promote new cloud-based services comes under scrutiny over performance issues. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), for one, has experienced a handful of interruptions of its Gmail service, which is a component of Web-based applications it's positioning as business-grade alternatives to traditional software. Similarly, Amazon's EC2 service suffered an outage earlier this year. The e-commerce giant blamed the downtime on severe weather.

In addition to Google and Amazon, Microsoft has also been making its cloud-based services a top priority, pursuing a strategy of hosted applications and app environments on its own servers chiefly by way an initiative it calls Azure.

In recent months the company has taken steps to marry the cloud with its wireless efforts in particular. Earlier this year, it began testing mobile apps to sync data from Windows Mobile-based phones to the cloud.

It's also been examining hosting smartphone-like applications in the cloud for mobile users whose phones can't support applications popular on more advanced devices.