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T-Mobile Kills Microsoft's Danger Service for Sidekick Phones

T-Mobile announced on Monday that it plans to stop using Microsoft's Danger data service for its Sidekick mobile device users after May 31.

Speaking to PCMag.com, a T-Mobile spokesperson said the move to end the Danger service for Sidekick was "a joint decision reached by Microsoft and T-Mobile." In Danger's stead, T-Mobile plans to offer a "4G Sidekick" device based on the Android operating system at an unspecified time.

The upcoming Android-based Sidekick is rumored to be Project Emerald, which is in turn rumored to be HTC's Desire HD and Vision smartphones. HTC plans to distribute its HD2 smartphone exclusively through T-Mobile sometime in the spring of this year.

In any case, Microsoft's Danger effort would appear to be dead in the water if there's no carrier to support it. The Danger service suffered a setback on October 2, 2009 after a system failure occurred on Microsoft's servers. The outage affected Danger data storage, causing many T-Mobile Sidekick users to temporarily lose data. Microsoft later restored much of the missing data.

Microsoft had announced a partnership with HTC and T-Mobile USA in January 2010 that was supposed to have been centered on HTC's forthcoming HD2 Windows-based phone. However, no subsequent information seems to have appeared about that deal. It's unclear if Microsoft will play a role in providing data services for T-Mobile's Android-based Sidekick successor product, possibly the HTC HD2. A spokesperson for Microsoft said on Monday by e-mail that Microsoft had no information to share.

Microsoft first announced the acquisition of Palo Alto, Calif.-based Danger Inc. in February of 2008. Danger became part of Microsoft's consumer phone business under the Entertainment and Devices Division. Supposedly, Microsoft's short-lived Kin Windows Phones, announced in April 2010, were to be the successor to the Danger devices. Microsoft killed the Kin phone line a few months later and said at the time that the Kin development team, reputed to be the Danger team, would move to support Windows Phone 7.

T-Mobile promised in its announcement that its Sidekick customers would be able to "easily export their personal data" from the Danger service to "a new device, computer, or a designated e-mail account." The export is accomplished via a Web-based tool available at myT-Mobile.com. Sidekick customers will get offers from T-Mobile to move to the new device sometime before May 31, 2011, according to T-Mobile's announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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