Microsoft posts Sidekick data recovery tool

Tool will enable users to view the contacts they had on their devices as of Oct. 1 and restore the data lost during the Sidekick service outage

Microsoft has posted a link to a data recovery tool for T-Mobile Sidekick smartphone users, the latest step in the company's effort to clean up the mobile device service outage mess.

The tool's availability comes a day after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer weighed in on the Sidekick episode, which he described as "not good" in an exclusive interview with Network World at the SharePoint Conference this week.

[ InfoWorld's Robert X. Cringley looks at Microsoft, Sidekick, and other high-tech disasters. | The Sidekick fiasco highlights the need for mobile backups. | Keep up on the day's tech news headlines with InfoWorld's Today's Headlines: First Look newsletter. ]

Some T-Mobile Sidekick owners lost contacts, calendars, and other data a couple of weeks back after Microsoft subsidiary Danger, which provides service to Sidekick mobile device users on behalf of T-Mobile, suffered an outage. Beginning Tuesday, Sidekick customers can log into the My.T-Mobile website to grab the recovery tool to restore contacts.

From Sidekick to Gmail: A short history of cloud computing outages

A memo to customers from Microsoft/Danger on the T-Mobile Sidekick Web site reads in part: "This tool will enable you to view the contacts you had on your device as of October 1. With a few clicks and a confirmation, you will be able to restore these contacts to your Sidekick. If you have recreated some of the same contacts on your Sidekick since October 1, you can choose to keep both sets of contacts, merge them, or just keep the set of contacts now on your device. You may also edit any partial or complete duplicates on your Sidekick after restoration."

Microsoft says its Danger group is working around the clock to help customers restore the rest of their data, including photos, notes, and to-do lists.

Last week, Microsoft issued an apology and notified Sidekick users that most of them would be able to recover most of their data. Up until then, it had been feared most data would be gone for good.

This story, "Microsoft posts Sidekick data recovery tool" was originally published by Network World.

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