Palm on the hunt for users' missing webOS backups

Palm and Sprint Nextel are embroiled in a cloud computing glitch that is causing major problems for users who are trying to move their backed-up content from one webOS-based device to another. The news comes just weeks after T-Mobile USA and Microsoft disclosed similar, cloud computing-based problems affecting Sidekick users.

The issue apparently stems from the automatic backup function offered by Palm called Palm Profile. The service remotely saves contact, calendar, task, memo and other information stored on users' webOS devices, allowing them to move the information to a new device--by logging into their Palm Profile--if their phone is lost or stolen. However, according to various user forums and news reports, some users moving from one device to another have been unable to access large amounts of their backed-up information.

"We are seeing a small number of customers who have experienced issues transferring their Palm Profile information to another Palm webOS device," Palm said in a statement. "Palm and Sprint are working closely together to support these customers to successfully transfer their information to the new device."

Palm, which sells the Pre and Pixi webOS devices, did not provide any additional information.

The situation is another reminder of the potential pitfalls in offering cloud-based services. Such services remotely store users' information for quick retrieval over the Internet, but can fall prey to computer troubles. Indeed, T-Mobile earlier this month resumed sales of its Sidekick devices a little more than a month after a Microsoft server glitch caused some Sidekick users to lose their personal data. Microsoft was able to restore many users' data, but the entire event was a black eye for Microsoft and T-Mobile.

For more:
- see this IDG News Service article
- see this Wired post

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