Trouble in the Clouds
The Internet loves a good web or cloud service outage story and today's contender is Microsoft who started having trouble with Outlook.com on Tuesday and seem to be struggling to fix it. There have also been some issues accessing SkyDrive, although these seem to have been resolved. Microsoft is saying, "We're having a problem accessing email. You might not be able to see all your email messages. We're working to restore service right now."
Now some 13 hours into the outage, affected users are taking to the usual social media outlets to vent their frustration. Are you affected by the outage? Are you coping, did you have a backup plan? And, like most of the Twitter complainers, are you planning a switch to Gmail or another service (which have all had their own issues, let's not forget).
The Outlook is Bleak
You can follow the news on the outage at Microsoft's service page, the last post was "Fixing the problem is taking longer than we hoped. We'll provide an update by Mar 13 1:12 PM. We apologize for the lengthy interruption in service. Mar 13 9:11 AM." The @TeamHotmail Twitter account hasn't been updated in weeks, and TeamOutlook has no posts, suggesting the company still doesn't quite get all things social.
UPDATE: That promised update has been delivered (9:12 EST) and doesn't offer much news or hope for those affected, it simply posted a next-update time of 1:12 EST, 5:12 U.K. time. There's no gossip about possible cause or anything that narrows down who or where is most affected. We'll update further as Microsoft deigns to let its 350 million plus users what's going on.
FINAL UPDATE: Microsoft's status page has reported the issues fixed, but offered no explanation. "The problem was resolved for all users by Tuesday, March 13 5:43 AM PDT and earlier for most users."
POST MORTEM: Microsoft has blamed a failed firmware update that caused a data center to start overheating as the source of the outage. You can read about it on an Outlook blog post.