Update On Microsoft/Sidekick Debacle: "Most, If Not All" Data Will Get Recovered

Turns out our source had it right: Microsoft engineers who worked on the Danger/Sidekick meltdown have been able to recover “most if not all” of the data that was lost during last weekend’s catastrophic server failure.

In a statement, Roz Ho, Corporate VP of Premium Mobile Experiences addresses the unfortunate T-Mobile Sidekick customers and apologizes for the massive fail:

On behalf of Microsoft, I want to apologize for the recent problems with the Sidekick service and give you an update on the steps we have taken to resolve these problems.

We are pleased to report that we have recovered most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage. We plan to begin restoring users’ personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts, after we have validated the data and our restoration plan. We will then continue to work around the clock to restore data to all affected users, including calendar, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores, as quickly as possible.

She adds that there’s now a belief that only a minority of Sidekick users were affected by the outage, but did not share exact numbers. She refers customers who believe they’ve been affected to the T-Mobile Sidekick forum for more updates about when data restoration will commence, and any steps they may need to take on their side. Microsoft says it will work with T-Mobile to post the next update on data restoration timing no later than Saturday.

And about the actual failure, which turns out not to be sabotage after all as we assumed:

We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up. We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data.

Microsoft states it has made changes to improve the overall stability of the Sidekick service and initiated a more resilient backup process to ensure that the integrity of their DB is maintained.

It’s still a giant fuck-up, but at least the users (well, most) will get their data back. But the whole debacle has reflected very poorly on all companies involved, and it will linger for long.