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Danger Turns Out To Be Appropriate Name for Microsoft's Sidekick Maker

By now, you've probably heard the news, but if you haven't, here it is: The Sidekick device, probably not named after Dallas' professional indoor soccer team from the 1980s, had a little hiccup recently. Sidekick users apparently lost all their personal data and aren't likely to get much of it back.

Sidekick is part of the Microsoft family now, with Redmond having acquired Danger, the appropriately named maker of the device, last year. So, Danger's (big) problem is now Microsoft's problem -- and T-Mobile's, as well. (By the way, doesn't T-Mobile sound at least a little bit like a name for a rapper?)

Anyway, there's talk that this data loss, which apparently occurred because of some sort of horrible combination of errors in a Microsoft datacenter somewhere, is a massive blow to Microsoft and its cloud aspirations, which are still in the building stage themselves.

Not so fast, says Redmond magazine columnist, Microsoft expert and friend of RCPU Mary Jo Foley. MJF says that Sidekick services don't run on Azure, Microsoft's cloud platform -- and, for that matter, most of Microsoft's current cloud services don't yet, either. The real problem, Mary Jo says, is with Microsoft's "Pink" project, its supposed entry into the mobile hardware market and part of some sort of top-secret strategy to take over the mobile market.

So (given that we trust Mary Jo Foley here), after all the headlines and blogs have floated into the dark recesses of Internet archives, what we're left with is a story about Microsoft screwing up something with one of its mobile products. Big surprise.

The good news here is that this doesn't actually appear to be a problem with Azure or the "Microsoft cloud." The bad news is that everybody thinks it is. It's time, then, for Redmond to get its spinners spinning (for good reason this time) and set the record straight. Oh, and maybe that "Danger" name should kind of fade into the distance, too. Whatever it was meant to mean when somebody came up with it, it means something else entirely now.

Did you lose Sidekick data? How do you feel about Microsoft's mobile and cloud strategies? Sound off at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on October 13, 2009 at 11:55 AM