T-Mobile: Sidekick Owners Get Free Data, $100

In an effort to ease the sting of losing its Sidekick customers' data, T-Mobile is crediting a month's worth of data service to its Sidekick users, and issuing US$100 T-Mobile gift certificates to users if their data isn't recoverable. The cell service provider recently revealed that Microsoft's Sidekick cloud servers lost all of their data, leaving many users without their contacts, calendars and other personal information.

T-Mobile said in a statement on its Web site "In the event certain customers have experienced a significant and permanent loss of personal content, T-Mobile will be sending these customers a $100 customer appreciation card. This will be in addition to the free month of data service that already went to Sidekick data customers."

Sidekick owners can use their gift cards to buy products at the T-Mobile Web site, or to pay their T-Mobile bill.

T-Mobile said the Sidekick data loss was the result of a Danger server failure. Danger, the company behind the Sidekick smartphone, is owned by Microsoft and its servers run on Microsoft's software.

The incident underscored the importance of maintaining personal data backups and not relying on a single source for storing critical information. It also served as a reminder that while the concept of cloud computing may be great, the infrastructure supporting the technology can still be fragile.

"We have made significant progress this past weekend, restoring services to virtually every customer," T-Mobile said. "Microsoft/Danger has teams of experts in place who are working around-the-clock to ensure this stability is maintained."

Presumably those are not the same experts that led to the data loss.