Categorized | happenings

And if you survived the Facebook purges, here’s a Sidekick to the ribs

Sidekick phone

The candy colors and caffeinated emoticons are your first clue this ain’t no business phone.

Now, if your Facebook account survived (chances are it did since only 0.05% of Facebook accounts were removed between October 3 and 10), hopefully you didn’t have any important business contact information on T-Mobile’s Sidekick, which went dead when the Microsoft servers providing Sidekick shut down for several hours last Friday, cutting off service to hundreds of thousands of Sidekick users, including a smallish group of business users. When the service came back up, thousands of users found their Sidekick data deleted (most of whom tried to reset their account during the server outage). And if you’re one of the unfortunates who have lost data, T-Mobile is offering a $100 gift certificate according to an announcement today on the Sidekick wiki.

Sidekick, for those who have missed it (don’t worry if you did), is T-Mobile’s and Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone, a SmartPhone with a keyboard. Data services are provided by Danger, a Microsoft subsidiary. Since the phone is primarily marketed at a young, consumer audience, few business users have really bitten at this smartphone, preferring instead Research In Motion’s Blackberry and Apple’s iPhone.

But all cloud computing users, Blackberry and iPhone users included, should consider this event very carefully. We’ve had a number of very significant cloud computing outages, so the more you rely on the data services delivered by your smartphone or SaaS providers, the more you risk losing valuable business data. When a truck smashes in to a server farm, is it also smashing in to your valuable personal and business data? In our discussion of cloud computing services in our book, The Startup Bible, we stress backup. We’re probably going to bold face that particular section in the second edition!

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