I bought the very first Danger smartphone the day it came out (rare for me -- I'm not so much of an early adopter on mobile phones). One of the features I liked the best was the fact that all of the data on the phone was immediately and automatically backed up to Danger's servers. Since then, I've always been amazed that other providers didn't make similar features standard. Danger never fully lived up to its hype, and eventually sold out
to Microsoft. It was never entirely clear why Microsoft would want Danger, but at the very least you would think that it would make sure that the servers were pretty safe and redundant. Or so you would think. Apparently Danger had a massive server failure
and is warning people that their data may be completely lost. The company is telling people not to turn off their devices, as the only way to keep the data alive is to keep the phone going.
It's difficult to think of a system failure that makes a company look quite this bad. Tons of people have Sidekick phones and rely on server backup to keep their data. Not having a working redundant backup is a stunning sort of failure for Microsoft, and should remind people of the inherent dangers in relying on a cloud based service. While there are lots of cloud-based solutions that are quite useful, people are definitely going to need to be able to have alternative local and remote backups to make sure that, in this kind of situation, they're not totally relying on a company who should
do things right, but perhaps did not.