back to article Microsoft: Office 365 outages 'will' happen

Microsoft is confident that Office 365 – its second generation cloud service – will prove more resilient than the Business Productivity Online Suite but it cannot guarantee uptime. BPOS gained a pretty bad rep due to a series of outages, the most recent coming just last week, and users were praying that the new cloud iteration …


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  1. Christian Berger

    There used to be a joke

    How many Microsoft people do you need to change a lightblub? None, they just define darkness as the industry standard.

    That's what seems to be happening right now.

  2. John Ruddy


    How do Microsoft think they can compete with Google when Google offers Google Docs for free and M$ are going to charge?

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Mental

      Charged products can compete against free products very easily and do it all the time. The only two things that are required is people willing to pay for a product that is more to their liking and having that product.

      As to people talking about darkness being an industry standard, I think it's quite impressive to see that re-imbursements start being given if availability drops below 99.9%. And at least with MS Office, I can use it offline when that does happen.

      There are more things to compete on, than price.

    2. StephenBBID

      Google isn't free

      Google Docs if FAR from Free at $50 per user per year for a business account, Microsoft easily can compete in this market place, especially since Office online if superior to Google Docs when using heavy Excel, and Powerpoint documents. Google Docs if far more for content consumption, compared to Office 365 which will be for Content creation as much as content consumption.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    True to form

    MS are getting you to pay for something that doesn't work.

    Wuill it be a haven for viruses too?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re AC 'True to form'


      MS are getting you to pay for something that doesn't work.

      Nothing new there then. That is the MS Business plan since billy boy founded the company.

      How many times have they released 'The Wow starts now!'/'Best thing since sliced bread' stuff that is no where near functional/usable and they have relied on the paying public (more fools them) to field test it for them?

      Where is the Fail, I'm off down the boozer icon when you need it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Because you can actually do something useful with Office 365...

      Google docs outage anyone...?

  4. Richard 12 Silver badge

    That seems a remarkably low bar to aim at.

    Did he say the time period the SLA was over, is it phrased as "Uptime" or "Availability", and does that only apply to unscheduled downtime?

    99.9% service availability allows a single downtime event of ~8.76 hours if measured yearly, or ~45 if monthly.

    That's a really long time if it happens during your opening hours.

    I don't think anyone* is genuinely expecting 100% SLA, but 99.99% are pretty common - even the free version of the Google Mail service appears to have exceeded 99.99% measured annually.

    *Except the kinds of managers who buy products based on the shiny wrapping.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I think the name indicated this...

    By calling it "Office 365", and the fact that there are 366 days between 28 June 2011 and 28 June 2012 (2012 is a leap year).

  6. Kubla Cant

    So it's really Office 364

    ...or possibly less

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Every year?

    He's saying there'll be 365 outages every year?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    About time

    that people started advertising services, and building in expectation to the user that it isn't perfect. Welcome to the real world people. Now, if only it were possible to stop people bleating "but I need it 24/7/365" when actually they don't. Good start though.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    At least a cloud provider is being honest. That is quite refreshing rather than all the guff from the others....

  10. spellucci

    Office 365 Slogan

    When it absolutely, positively has to be available eventually.

  11. Anonymous_guy

    Screw the outages is my companies data secure?

    I dont know if I understand office 365 correctly but it sounds like all my documents and emails will also stay in the cloud?

    Seriously if I wanted alll my companies Intellectual Property on the internet in one spot hosted by a company that isnt known for security, couldn't I just cut out the middle man, and have all my confidential data hosted by Wiki-leaks instead?

  12. Robert E A Harvey

    Pains me to say it

    But this is quite a smart move by M$

  13. Arctic fox

    Yes, I see that several have remembered the rules concerning.......

    ..................The Great Satan From Redmond.

    1. Microsoft do not make it clear that this or that service is *not* 100% guaranteed and do not make provision for customer compensation. You absolutely have to log on and howl - do not forget the $-sign next time.

    2. Microsoft *do* make it clear that this or that service is *not* 100% guaranteed and *do* make provision for customer compensation. You absolutely have to log on and howl - do not forget the $-sign next time.

  14. SteelVenom

    Why do we need the cloud?

    As someone who considers themselves a rather robust IT guy,

    I have yet to really see any benefit of the cloud. I prefer knowing the data is under my roof and secured by me.

    And now we have programs, even entire operating systems, that ONLY run when you have internet??

    Are people just getting more stupid or something?! Sure this would be great if we all had internet 100% of the time. But we don't. Even with mobile hotspots service isn't always great if you're not in the city. Heck, even in the city I don't always have good service.

    Why everyone thinks the cloud is so amazing is beyond me.

  15. Martin Maloney

    A step backward

    In the old (pre-80s) days of computing, a mainframe hosted the OS, the apps and the data, and users accessed the system with dumb terminals.

    Then came the era of the PC, with OS, apps and data on each machine, with a central file server to store and access data.

    There was a transitional phase, when companies opted for off-site backup services.

    Now we have the cloud. It functions like a mainframe, and PCs function like dumb terminals.

    When using the off-site data backup or the cloud, the first trade-off is security. With all data on-site, all employees are on-site, too. (Yes, there are people who work off-site; however, their hiring is done by the company.) Businesses can screen potential employees; they can't screen potential employees of cloud companies. That's an aspect of the on-site/off-site debate that others haven't addressed.

    The second trade-off that occurs to me is the one-size-fits-nobody cloud apps. For instance, one of my clients is a medical transcription business. They use a third-party medical dictionary in Word. They're stuck with Windows and Word and the third-party spell-checker. Just as they can't use Linux and a Linux office word processing app, a general-purpose cloud word processing app, even if it were high end, would be useless to them.

    The cloud is a forward-into-the-past move back to the era of the mainframe, without the security provided by an on-site system.

  16. Andrew Hodgkinson

    Redmond Marketing Machine

    It is remarkable how out of touch and wide of the mark Microsoft seem to be when it comes to much of their recent marketing. Apple's "Mac vs. PC" turning into the dreadful "I'm a PC" campaign (no, I'm a person, thanks) is a good recent example.

    The latest incarnation features a green-shirted sales drone in a room of someone's house he has invaded and turned into a clone of an Apple store. He has the temerity to greet the homeowner by saying "thanks for popping by" in her own home. Said woman is understandably delighted by this and purchases a brown laptop.

    Good grief.

    Then we come to this article and, herein, an example of Microsoft's excellent product naming strategy. BPOS - Big Piece Of... Were they *really* unaware of the widely used slang acronym "POS"?

    How come even Microsoft's advertising is being outperformed by competitors - even the typically unbearably smug output from Apple? How can a company go so consistently wrong?

  17. windywoo

    Tell me, how well have Apple handled cloud services in the past?

    Mobile me was dire. Can someone tell me if Apple gave any compensation to their users? Why does anyone here expect 100% uptime anyway? It's impossible, and only the trolls here would seriously bash Microsoft over 0.1%

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