Microsoft's Cloud Services Go Down Worldwide, Keeping More Than 300 Million Users From Accessing Their Stuff
Is this the future cloud computing will bring?
It could be. It's not enough that I have to hear my cloud-loving colleague complain about the problems with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Docs (ironic, eh?) – oh no, I also have to read all the horror stories of what happens when companies and individuals place too much reliance on the cloud.
This latest incident is further proof. Late last night, all of the cloud-based services from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) – Hotmail, Skydrive and Office 365 – became inaccessible. According to TechCrunch, the services were down for four hours.
While the outage occurred at a time when most American users wouldn't feel the burn (11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. EDT), it surely was a problem for other nations around the world. Those who were not affected, however, should not take this lightly. This is not a, “Oh, big deal” or “Well, at least it's over” moment. This is the time to sit up and take a second look at what a cloud-based future means for all of us.
E-mail has and always will be a cloud-based entity. That's where it belongs. Without the cloud, we couldn't properly send, store or receive e-mails. But e-mail is meant to be sent somewhere. It is meant to be shared. Thus, it would be useless without the cloud.
The same cannot be said for other files and documents. What would you do if all of your Word documents were trapped in Office 365 when the service went down? It would be a nightmare. But it's a nightmare that people who rely on the cloud will one day face. (In fact, Office 365 users have faced it before.)
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