It wasn’t a great start for Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system or Microsoft’s Sidekick, as Both products received hundreds of complaints after users found masses of their personal data deleted.
For Snow Leopard, since its launch in August 2009, over a hundred users reported a serious fault that has seen them lose all their personal files.
It appears that those who had initially registered to the OS with a guest account, and later upgraded to the full package, have seen their entire profile disappear, taking with it files, images, sites and other crucial documents.
According to Apple, the bug on Snow Leopard treats the principal account like a guest account and then deletes it once the user logs out. Users who first log into a guest account and then into their normal account have found it to be completely reset to factory default settings, with none of their personal data or files visible.
Apple said in a statement that the problem “occurs only in extremely rare cases” and that it was working on a fix. Until a patch is created, they suggested that users should delete previous guest accounts and, where necessary, create new ones that are “native” to Snow Leopard.
Microsoft’s Sidekick handset has similar problems with servers losing personal data, resulting in T-Mobile halting all sales of the phone in the US. Critics have said it is a major blow for ‘cloud computing’ and for T-Mobile, which is suffering from low subscriptions stateside.
“This is the most spectacular loss of data on the web to date,” Harry McCracken, editor of Technologizer.com told BBC News.McCracken
“There have been other examples, but always from small companies. For this to involve a big name like Microsoft was a major embarrassment and a big worry for consumers and Microsoft.”
It is thought that all data lost from the servers is permanently gone, and Microsoft has said they are officially investigating the server outage, but added that the people most at risk of losing their data are those who removed their battery or allowed it to drain completely, an act that wipes out local copies of personal data.
Microsoft and Apple both hit hard by faulty applications… expect Google to be monitoring the situation closely to learn from their mistakes for the release of their ‘Wave’ application.