Friday, October 16, 2009

A Wild Week on the Web & the SideKick Debacle Hits Home

By Tami Casey
I heard a scream from my daughter’s room, “it’s gone, it’s all gone.“ As I poked my head in the door I saw her standing holding her most prized possession—a slightly battered, well used Sidekick phone.

My husband (the techie) tried restarting the phone and resetting the battery, but nothing worked. As tears welled in her eyes, my husband called T-Mobile and learned the servers had a technical glitch that caused “widespread data loss.” A few days later we learned that a large number of the 1 million+ Sidekick users were also affected.

My daughter fell into in a state of shock. How could it all be gone? She had lost 500+ contacts, 200 pictures, 300 mp3s and 20 songs she spent countless hours writing. She’s been a “Sidekick Girl” essentially her whole life, and all 13 years of accumulated information on the phone was gone in an instant. Fortunately the word on the street is she may get her data back.

Being a communicator in the tech industry I found the whole episode interesting. Why did it take Microsoft four days to provide any kind of a response? While on Thursday they said they would be able to recover the data, they were way too quiet for the first few days. Any good communicator understands that lack of comment causes a void which leads to speculation, which is exactly what happened as the blogosphere went wild developing theories of what could have gone wrong along with fantastic stories of internal sabotage.

Will Microsoft recover from this misstep or will the incident provide fodder for those that love to hate Microsoft? I have my own theory—I think Microsoft paid Balloon Boy to pull Thursday’s stunt to draw the blogosphere’s attention in another direction. What’s your theory?
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Anonymous said...

Ah yes, good old Microsoft. Why just yesterday I spoke with a guy who was taking his laptop into the shop to have them replace Vista with XP. Progress marches on!


Julie said...

All the negative press around the SideKick incident hurts the cloud computing cause. Don’t believe the hype! I’ve heard the only reason Microsoft decided to step in and pay for the restoration work is because of its cloud ambitions for Azure and MS Exchange. Would have been much cheaper for MS to put its logo on that balloon yesterday...then they could truly say they’re ‘in the cloud.’ :-)