Google's video and chat software appears to have fallen off the cloud today, with a technical and widespread outage. With no immediate sign of restoration, Google is working on the problem. Are you experiencing issues with the service? Let us know.
Not Good to Talk
At a rate of dozens of tweets a second the Internet is quickly finding that Google's Talk video chat and GChat instant messaging service is unavailable or not working for many users. This appears to be across desktops and mobiles, suggesting that the service's back-end is affected, rather than the problem being an issue with one client or application.
The service has been down for over two hours now. Google has responded that it has noticed the issue and is working on a solution (if they all use Google Talk, how are they communicating about it? we wonder) . Get the latest word from the Google Dashboard.
Typical comments on Twitter include; "Google Talk is down, all office communication was a mess today." and "Google Talk is down. MSN Messenger, it's your time to shine!" So, perhaps competing products will see a rise in interest. We'll update you as the situation develops.
UPDATE: Google posted this at 9:50AM EST: "We are continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by 7/26/12 3:50 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem."
UPDATE: Google posted news of a resumption in service at 11:25AM EST: "The problem with Google Talk should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better. If you are still experiencing an issue, please contact us via the Google Help Center."
This is the latest in a string of high profile outages, and while most are normally resolved quickly and efficiently, the recent O2 (UK) network failure, BlackBerry's legendary outage, Amazon's AWS failures and others, all have us wondering how long it will go on?
Users will moan and grumble online, but with so many ways to communicate these days, is it really an Armageddon scenario? Perhaps if some organizations struggle to cope with this or other outages, it shows a weakness in their communications structure. As with data back-ups and access networks, perhaps fault tolerance and redundancy should be built into our cloud and communications too.