More on the T-Mobile/Microsoft Sidekick Data Loss & the Correct Meaning of Dogfooding

The Microsoft/T-Mobile Sidekick story just gets stranger and stranger as details and speculation emerge. But, I’m going to take a brief detour before going there. I have an issue with the way AppleInsider defines the term “dogfooding” in their otherwise extremely interesting article…

Microsoft’s Sidekick/Pink problems blamed on dogfooding and sabotage

AppleInsider defines “dogfooding” as: to eradicate any vestiges of competitor’s technologies after an acquisition (direct quote from their article). Although this description may fit the result of dogfooding, it is not a definition of the term.

The term comes from the saying “eat your own dogfood”. In Microsoft’s case, this means using what they build and use it early on. So, for example, you’ll see Microsoft staffers using beta releases of Windows on their production notebooks. And, you’ll find Microsoft servers running Microsoft Server beta releases in production mode. If you looked at a Windows Mobile smartphone in use by a Microsoft staff member, it has probably been running version 6.5 for many months now. In other words, they ate their own dogfood (products). So, while a migration from Solaris to Windows Server is the end result of dogfooding, it is just one aspect of the practice.

With that out of the way, AppleInsider’s story reads like the beginnings of a direct-to-DVD movie: Intra-company warefare, possible sabotage, and near total silence after the damage was inflicted.

I’m even starting to wonder if this battle between Microsoft and T-Mobile will spill over to Windows Mobile. Will T-Mobile deny Dash 3G and Touch Pro2 owners the ability to upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.5? So far T-Mobile has not responded to my tweets to @TMobile_USA asking for upgrade info.