Microsoft said Tuesday that some Sidekick mobile phone users may recover personal data such as contacts, calendar items and digital photos believed to have been permanently lost in a server failure.
"Recent efforts indicate that recovering some lost content may now be possible," Microsoft said in its latest statement on an incident which has delivered a black eye to the US software giant.
Wireless carrier T-Mobile, which has temporarily halted Sidekick sales, and data services provider Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, had previously said the likelihood of recovering lost personal information was "extremely low."
But Microsoft said Tuesday it remains "hopeful that personal content can be recovered for the majority of our customers."
T-Mobile and Microsoft have not said how many customers have been affected but there are an estimated one million Sidekick users in the United States.
Microsoft said T-Mobile planned to send 100 dollar "customer appreciation cards" to Sidekick customers "who have experienced a significant and permanent loss of personal content."
It said the cards, which can be used to purchase T-Mobile products or services or pay a T-Mobile bill, are in addition to a free month of data service already given to customers.
Sidekick models have been listed as "temporarily out of stock" on the website of T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.
Douglas McIntyre, an analyst at 247WallSt.com, described the incident on Monday as a "debacle" for Microsoft, which is facing stiff competition from Nokia's Symbian, Apple, Research in Motion and Google's Android in the market for mobile phone software and services.
Some technology analysts have described the data loss, one of the largest in recent years, as a potential setback for Internet-based cloud computing, where services are offered online with data stored on servers.
More information: Sidekick's lost data gone for good
(c) 2009 AFP
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