Summary: Microsoft to face class action lawsuit over the Danger fiasco; Windows Mobile carries on losing to Linux
The short story is that Microsoft lost data (apparently due to negligence), so although some of it could be recovered a week later, great damage had already been done. The lawsuit that we mentioned some days ago (and correctly predicted) is not an isolated case; as pointed out the other day, class action was probably inevitable and indeed it is:
Class Action Suit Filed after T-Mobile and Microsoft Lose Data T-Mobile Sidekick Users Store on their Phones
A class action lawsuit places the spotlight on T-Mobile, subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom (NYSE:DT) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for losing most all the contacts, appointments, photos and other data stored by as many as one million users of the popular T-Mobile Sidekick line of mobile phones.
The T-Mobile Sidekick data service went down in early October and then T-Mobile admitted that Microsoft’s Danger, Inc. subsidiary, which is responsible for the Sidekick data service, lost most all of the personal data it was entrusted with protecting, and that it was highly unlikely it would recover any data.
Many T-Mobile customers saw Microsoft’s February 2008 acquisition of Danger as a death knell for their beloved Sidekick.
As one source put it a while ago, “T-Mobile halts Sidekick sales after data loss” (that’s the headline which percolates through the wires).
In another article from CRN, the following point is raised:
Lobel said that going forward, responsibility would have to be determined on a legal front as cloud services gain more traction with customers. And ultimately, he said, the company trusted to directly manage customer data should be held responsible for its loss, whether it’s outsourced or not.
“Customers look to (companies) for protection of their information. Customer look to the companies they do business with,” Lobel said. “At the end of the day, you can outsource a function, but you cannot outsource responsibility.”
Seth Weintraub from IDG goes with the headline “Microsoft kills the Sidekick. The first smart phone is dead.” The same message reaches PCWorld (IDG) whilst InfoWorld (also IDG) states in the headline that “Microsoft learns the hard way: Back up our data!”
The Seattle press and The Register look at some other issues while the Wall Street Journal generalises this to Windows Mobile. GigaOM calls it “Microsoft Mobile’s Worst Week Ever” and one of our readers writes about the highly disappointing Windows Mobile 6.5.
To say I was a dissatisfied customer would be an understatement, however thats in the past. I’ve learnt my lesson and won’t consider a Microsoft solution in a phone ever again. I will not though dwell on that and after previous bad experiences with other Microsoft technologies I only have myself to blame for the decision to purchase it.
What does that all mean to Linux? Well, apart from two predictions this month (from analysts) that Linux would ultimately dominate the space, we have found this interesting article about the demise of Windows Mobile and rise of Android:
Microsoft smartphone OS is a hard sell
Amid all the talk last week of a “groundbreaking” partnership between Verizon Wireless and Google, word of Microsoft launching its revamped operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5, and Verizon introducing one of the first smartphones to run it, the HTC Imagio, largely fell on deaf ears.
Not that I’m surprised.
The Verizon-Google partnership is a big deal. It not only ensures Google’s touch-screen Android operating system will make it onto cell phones nationwide, it finally will give consumers a worthy alternative to the Apple iPhone and AT&T.
In summary, Microsoft fails badly in mobile phones, whereas Linux is gaining, sometimes at Windows’ expense. Our reader Will concludes by pointing to this post about Pink/Danger, adding that “it doesn’t inspire confidence in Microsoft as a cloud vendor. Especially if that is really how the problem happened.” █