T-Mobile kills Danger

T-Mobile USA has said it will launch a new 4G Sidekick device that runs on Android “soon.” The move marks the end of the road for Danger, Microsoft’s client-server platform that features on the device; having continued to support the service following its withdrawal of the handset last year, T-Mobile announced yesterday that it would be switching off its Danger servers by the end of May 2011.

Users that continue to hold on to their devices will lose most of the features but will, according to T-Mobile, still be able to make calls or send SMSs. This loss of features and data will have something of a déjà vu effect on long-term users – a technical glitch in 2009 saw many of them lose data they had stored in the cloud and they were locked out of email and address services for days while Microsoft battled to restore service.

The first Sidekick handsets appeared in 2002, when its always-on Internet, email , instant-messaging services and flip-out QWERTY keyboard made it something of a fashion statement among celebrities and the youth market. Particularly interesting in the light of the migration to Android is the fact that Danger co-founder Andy Rubin was a key player in the development of the Android OS. He now works on Android from within Google, which acquired the platform in 2005.

T-Mobile has said it intends offering compelling incentives to existing Sidekick users to migrate to the new Android devices, including applications that will allow for the easy transition of data from the older devices to the new, which will support T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network.

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