Personal contacts restored to Sidekick users

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The Independent Tech

Microsoft began restoring personal contacts information Tuesday to users of T-Mobile Sidekick mobile phones who lost data in a server failure.

Microsoft said it was still sorting out how to retrieve still photographs, notes and other information lost in the incident with Sidekick data services provider Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft.

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 stressed on Tuesday that the data restoration effort "is only necessary for the minority of customers who lost data from their Sidekick devices."

The US software giant advised Sidekick users who lost data to log into the T-Mobile website and use a recovery tool to restore their personal contacts.

"This tool will enable you to view the contacts you had on your device as of October 1," it said. "With a few clicks and a confirmation, you will be able to restore these contacts to your Sidekick."

"We continue to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to restore your data," Microsoft said in a statement. "We're making solid progress on the next phase in this restoration process, including your photographs, notes, to-do lists, marketplace data and high scores."

Wireless carrier T-Mobile, which temporarily halted Sidekick sales, and Danger had previously said the likelihood of recovering lost personal information was "extremely low."

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.

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