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Microsoft Still Fishing for Sidekick Data

Redmond's embarrassing Sidekick data-loss fiasco might still have a non-tragic ending, but the company's ongoing effort to salvage Sidekick users' lost data isn't as easy as Microsoft might have made it seem -- or perhaps even thought it would be.

The initial euphoria over reports of the data's death being greatly exaggerated has turned to something closer to cautious optimism and a bit of a call for patience among users. The whole thing got somebody at the New York Times so excited, though, that the paper busted out a Microsoft-is-dying feature that details how Microsoft will fail in the cloud and ultimately sink into irrelevance. (OK, so that's a harsh description of the story -- but not that harsh.)

Of course, the whole Sidekick fiasco is really more of a mobile problem -- one of many -- than a cloud problem for Microsoft (as we've said here before), and it may even be something a bit more sinister than just a gigantic screw-up. Microsoft has some catching up to do with Google and maybe even Amazon in terms of cloud technology, but nobody has a dominating lead in this race. In fact, the race is just beginning, and Ray Ozzie and Microsoft have as much a shot of winning it long-term as Google or anybody else does. They'll certainly be a contender.

So, New York Times, please spare us your wishful thinking that Microsoft is on its death bed. Yes, the Sidekick thing was and is a disaster, but if Microsoft really can restore users' data, the whole incident might end up going down as a footnote rather than a chapter in cloud computing's history. In any case, Microsoft will survive. Besides, is anybody in the newspaper business really in a good position to tell us all that some other company is in trouble?

Posted by Lee Pender on October 20, 2009


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