Danger (company)

Danger, Inc.
Type Subsidiary
Industry Software, services
Founded 2000
Headquarters Palo Alto, California
Products Client-server software
Revenue undisclosed
Employees undisclosed
Parent Microsoft
Website danger.com

Danger, Inc. was a company specializing in platforms, software, design, and services for mobile computing devices. Its most notable product was the T-Mobile Sidekick (also known as Danger Hiptop).

The company was originally started by former Apple Inc., WebTV and Philips employees Andy Rubin, Joe Britt, and Matt Hershenson. Danger was acquired by Microsoft on 11 February 2008, for a price rumored to be around $500 million (USD).[1][2]

The former Danger staff were absorbed into the Mobile Communications Business (MCB) of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft, where they worked on a future Microsoft mobile phone platform known as "Project Pink" which would eventually be released as Kin.[3][4] However, by October 2009, most of the ex-Danger employees had left Microsoft.[5] The Register described it as "a classic case of M & A failure, where the acquirer has failed to integrate either the technology or the people from the company that it bought."[6]

Co-founder Andy Rubin left to create the company Android, which then got acquired by Google. At Google, he become Director of Mobile Platforms, overseeing development of Google's Android phone platform.[5] As of 2011, Rubin heads Android development bringing former Danger Director of Design Matias Duarte to Google.

October 2009 data loss

In early October 2009, a server malfunction or technician error at Danger's data centers resulted in the loss of all Sidekick user data. As Sidekicks store users' data on Danger's servers—versus using local storage—users lost contact directories, calendars, photos, and all other media not locally backed up. In an October 10 letter to subscribers, Microsoft expressed its doubt that any data would be recovered.[7]

The customer's data that was lost was being hosted in Microsoft's data centers at the time.[8] Some media reports have suggested that Microsoft hired Hitachi to perform an upgrade to its storage area network (SAN), when something went wrong, resulting in data destruction.[9] Microsoft did not have an active backup of the data and it had to be restored from a month-old copy of the server data, totalling 800GB in size, from offsite backup tapes. The entire restoration of data took over 2 months for customer data and full functionality to be restored.[10]

The Danger/Sidekick episode is one in a series of cloud computing mishaps that have raised questions about the reliability of such offerings.[11]

On 15 October 2009, Microsoft said they had been able to recover most or all data and would begin to restore it.[12][13]


  1. ^ "How Much Did Microsoft Pay For Danger?". GigaOM. 12 February 2008. http://gigaom.com/2008/02/12/how-much-did-microsoft-pay-for-danger-find-out-here/. 
  2. ^ Todd Bishop (30 June 2010). "Confirmed: Microsoft Kin is dead". TechFlash. http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2010/06/confirmed_microsoft_kin_is_dead.html. 
  3. ^ "Microsoft's Pink Struggles Spill Over To Sidekick". ChannelWeb (UMB). 12 October 2009. http://www.crn.com/software/220600334;jsessionid=KCFRRMAUPYH2NQE1GHOSKH4ATMY32JVN?pgno=1. 
  4. ^ Dave Methvin (30 June 2010). "Notify The Next Of Kin". InformationWeek. http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2010/06/notify_the_next.html. 
  5. ^ a b "The Sidekick catastrophe: A curse for Microsoft, but a blessing for Motorola?". Betanews. 12 October 2009. http://www.betanews.com/article/The-Sidekick-catastrophe-A-curse-for-Microsoft-but-a-blessing-for-Motorola/1255361704. 
  6. ^ "Dead Pink phone fallout hits Microsoft's top brass". The Register. 8 July 2010. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/08/microsoft_kin_fallout/. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Danger no backups". The Inquirer. 12 October 2009. http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1558214/danger-backups. 
  9. ^ "Sidekick failure rumors point fingers at outsourcing, lack of backups". engadget. 11 October 2009. http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/11/sidekick-failure-rumors-point-fingers-at-outsourcing-lack-of-ba/. 
  10. ^ "Microsoft's Danger Problem Blamed on Management". Roughly Drafted. 15 October 2009. http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2009/10/15/microsofts-pinkdanger-backup-problem-blamed-on-roz-ho/. 
  11. ^ "From Sidekick to Gmail: A short history of cloud computing outages". NetworkWorld. 12 October 2009. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/101209-sidekick-cloud-computing-outages-short-history.html. 
  12. ^ "Update: Microsoft Says It Has Recovered Lost Sidekick Data". The Wall Street Journal. 15 October 2009. http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091015-710685.html. Retrieved 15 October 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Microsoft recovers Sidekick data". BBC News. 15 October 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8309218.stm. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 

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