Feb 26, 2008

Microsoft - thanks for noticing!!!

"An error has occurred" That's what it says in my iGoogle window where my hotmail messages are supposed to appear. I'm not the only person who couldn't get e-mail today - hotmail's been down for about 10 hours now, apparently since about 6 am EST. The problem is now being reported in news sites from the US, the UK, Ireland, and Canada. The earliest report I found on Google News was posted 6 hours ago on a North Carolina blog. Comments there are reporting trouble in Denmark, Portugal, Bulgaria, Pakistan, Singapore, Argentina. Could I leap to a conclusion that all 300 million users worldwide have been stuck all day? Various rumors say it has something to do with a server, which is about like saying "My car won't start." I don't really care.

It took Microsoft 6 hours, by my calculation, from the start of the problem to admitting in the news that anything was amiss. The gist of what they have to say is, "We're working on it."

Wouldn't you think Microsoft would have the courtesy to issue a press statement soon after the start of the problem and update it every half hour or so? I started checking new sites about an hour after I continually failed to get connected to Windows Live. Instead, it seems that even the bigger news services had to push their way in to get a statement.

I think it's fundamental to human psychology that, if we don't have control over something, we feel better if we at least get information. It's why the boss asks for reports. It's why you tell employees how the business is doing. It's why we call home if we're running late and someone's making dinner for us.

It's appalling that what amounts to a worldwide public utility can allow itself to be exposed to such massive failure, but it's worse that even the PR people must have been frantically working to solve the problem - else, why couldn't they have said what was going on?

One more reason to get a Mac and to move my e-mail to gmail. I'll let you know when I change my address.

1 comment:

Peden said...

There is no reason why not use Gmail, if just for the speed and ease of use! Also no commercials and more advanced features.

I switched some years ago and have never looked back.

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