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Bad Day For Microsoft (And Cloud) Following T-Mobile Sidekick Snafu

Sidekick data from glitch 'almost certainly lost,' says T-Mobile.

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T-Mobile confirmed over the weekend that user data such as contacts, stored photos and other information is probably gone forever, due to a technical glitch with Microsoft's servers. In a message posted to its Web site Saturday, T-Mobile admitted that any data not stored locally on users' Sidekicks has "almost certainly" been lost.

"Our teams continue to work around the clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information," wrote T-Mobile in the statement. "However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low."

T-Mobile didn't confirm how many of the 1 million or so Sidekick users have lost data in the outage. A T-Mobile spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that "we don't think it's a majority of the customers." A Microsoft spokeswoman further told the newspaper that it is an "extraordinary situation" and that Microsoft and T-Mobile "understand that and are working to do everything they can for customers."

Microsoft has more public face to lose than T-Mobile following the Sidekick glitch and will now face continued criticism that its mobile services -- particularly as they relate to the cloud -- aren't up to snuff with rivals like Google and Apple. More broadly, however, the glitch lends more ammunition to those who question the stability of cloud services.

Google's services, for example, have been called into question following multiple Gmail outages in recent weeks. Google itself admitted in a 10-Q filing that its cloud is "not fully redundant."

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