Google has apologised following a multi-hour outage that saw nearly a third of all messages due to be received by Gmail accounts delayed.
The technical hitch, which also affected users who pay for Google's Apps cloud productivity services, lasted for more than ten hours. Google stated that 29.1 percent of all messages received were delayed by an median average of 2.6 seconds, but admitted that some emails were "more severely delayed" as the backlog was cleared.
The problems also affected the downloading of attachments via Gmail.
On its Apps status page, Google said: "We apologise 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."
It continued: "We're aware that prompt email delivery is an important part of the Gmail experience, and today's experience fell far short of our standards."
This is the latest high-profile outage suffered by the search giant. Last month a glitch, which affected a large number of Google services including search, Drive, Calendar and Talk, resulted in a reported 40 percent drop in internet activity, demonstrating the power Google's many services have over the internet as a whole.
Google has been pushing itself as an enterprise-grade alternative to many more expensive cloud products in recent months, with high-profile businesses such as Just Eat heartily recommending the service as a viable alternative to in-house services.
However, to maintain credibility with businesses, it will have to avoid outages of such a high profile nature in future or face the backlash of paying users who expect more.
New Vikendi map adds snow, snowmobiles and new aural and visual twists
Faults and bad weather ground SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace and United Alliance
New regulation expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 million metric tonnes between 2020 and 2050
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell