T-Mobile confirmed late on Monday that it is going to shut down its Sidekick service on May 31 2011. At that time, the Microsoft-backed Danger servers will no longer be active and all Sidekick phones will lose the precious cloud-based services that define the handset. To assuage disgruntled customers, T-Mobile will provide unspecified offers to Sidekick customers to help them transition to a new handset. Web-based tools and in-store associates will also be available to help Sidekick users back-up their contacts, emails, photos and more.
There is no mention of how many T-Mobile customers will be affected by this closure. Many customers were most likely driven away by the large date loss and outage suffered by Danger/Microsoft and its Sidekick brand back in 2009. Fear not Sidekick fans! Though the Danger servers are being shut down, the Sidekick brand will continue with Android. A Samsung-made Sidekick 4G was recently spotted in the wild with full Android attire and T-Mobile just launched a Sidekick 4G sign-up page.
On the Microsoft side of things, this spells the end of Danger which was bought for $500 million in back in 2008. This team of Danger employees reportedly worked on the now defunct Kin handsets and have been or will be transitioned over to Windows Phone. With Nokia’s switch to WP7, perhaps the talents of this team can be used to integrate Nokia’s Ovi cloud services with the Windows Phone platform.
The full statement issued by T-Mobile is as follows:
After May 31, 2011, the Danger Service (a subsidiary of Microsoft) used by T-Mobile Sidekick customers for data services will no longer be available on Sidekick devices.
T-Mobile will provide offers for our Sidekick customers before May 31, 2011, to help make an easy transition from their existing Sidekick device to a new device. We will have more information to share about these offers with our customers in the weeks ahead.
To ensure the best possible transition for our loyal Sidekick customers, an enhanced Web tool is available on myT-Mobile.com to easily export their personal data, including contacts, photos, calendar, notes, to-do lists, and bookmarks, from the Danger service to a new device, computer, or a designated e-mail account. An application is also available in the Sidekick Catalog to make it easy to export personal data to the Sidekick’s memory card. Many T-Mobile stores can transfer data from that card to a new T-Mobile device if the customer brings in the memory card and Sidekick.
Responses, thoughts, and recollections of the Sidekick handsets are welcome in the comments.