Millions of Users Lose Access to Microsoft Cloud Services Early Friday

Early Friday morning, reports surfaced that Microsoft’s cloud services had gone dark. A few reports quickly turned into thousands. And then it became clear that Microsoft’s services were down globally in the early morning hours of Friday.

Roughly four hours after the outage was first reported, services (including Hotmail, Skydrive, and Office 365) resumed as normal. But for much of the overnight period, millions of users were without connectivity to their services.

So just like that, at the start of the day for most of Europe, a major portion of Microsoft’s cloud services went offline and were restored a matter of hours later. Every online service sees downtime — even Google Docs — but this latest hit on Microsoft’s service is another setback primarily for its oh-so-important answer to Google Docs.

As reported this morning by TechCrunch, Microsoft stated on another blog that the outage was “caused by the southern California power outage.”

Although the incident was eventually resolved without too much pain and suffering, the failure of Microsoft’s cloud-based services underscores a growing bastion of anxiety within the general population about the true reliability of these services and the technology that supports them.