Of course, this data outage is big news now -- though I've been prevented from commenting on it here due to my own unrelated data outage (more of data locked door.) And it all stems back to that hard-reset message.
Here's why that message was so important and the company would have been smart to get it out sooner: Danger/ Microsoft failed to back up the data the company was storing for us Sidekick users on their servers. So if you shut your phone down, there was a strong likelihood that the data on it would never come back when you turned the phone on.
Oh, snap! That is embarrassing. My teenager recently lost a report because he failed to back up, but he is only 13. This is Microsoft. Not only is the company no longer a teenager, it should be able to afford some respectable IT people.
Did the company forget to back up before it did the server upgrade that's being blamed for the outage? Did Microsoft fire all the good IT people in those layoffs last May? Doesn't it have some sort of backup procedure in place?
As someone affected by this outage, I will admit that Twitter has become like TV for me lately. (It does work on my Sidekick again.) It got me the news on this outage a full day before I got it from the official source; if you are still clinging to the idea that social media is just a lot of hooey, maybe you should think again.
When I want to know what is up with this situation, I type in "T-Mobile" in a search at Twitter.com or simply click on the trending topic. You don't even need an account with Twitter to do this. And then I watch the news, anger, and shock from the IT community, advice, alerts, and even sympathy for the company -- especially T-Mobile which is paying for Microsoft's screwup.
I watched as Microsoft/Danger admitted they really don't have a backup anywhere. I was glued to the feed as T-Mobile offered to let customers out of their contracts early without a fee. Then came reports that T-Mobile had stopped selling the Sidekick. (They are listed as "out of stock" at T-Mobile.com.) Then came hope that Microsoft had found a way to restore some data. All of this was happening in real time as people learned of events -- and well before the PR people or media could get the message out. I take everything with a grain of salt, of course, but this feed was very useful and fascinating.
For the official word, though, T-Mobile is keeping customers updated, and this morning's announcement includes a sweeter offer for those who lost data than yesterday's announcement did: