Microsoft and Google suffered outages to their cloud-based services this week, highlighting the downside of relying on services delivered via the internet for critical business capabilities.
Microsoft's online services, including its Windows Live Hotmail and SkyDrive, suffered a failure overnight on Thursday. The problems are also reported to have had a knock-on effect on Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite.
Microsoft's Inside Windows Live blog said the problems appeared to be related to DNS configuration issues, and the company quickly took steps to rectify the situation.
Meanwhile Google users were hit on Wednesday when the Google Docs suite was offline for about an hour, causing some browser-based applications to be unavailable.
Both problems happened outside working hours for UK customers, but the fact that services were unavailable for several hours is a sobering thought for anyone considering cloud services for business use.
Coincidentally, Google announced last week that it is adding offline access capabilities to services including Gmail, Calendar and Docs, in response to customer feedback.
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