back to article ASA probes Microsoft cloud reliability claims

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is checking out a complaint about claims from Microsoft that it can guarantee 99.9 per cent uptime on its cloud services. The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) has been prone to outages. And even its successor, Office 365, has gone down twice since its launch in late June, leading …


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  1. The Mole

    I think for once I might be on Microsofts side.

    They don't promise that there will be 99.9% uptime, instead they are very clear in that they are providing a guarantee to refund you money if they fail to make 99.9% uptime.

    Calling it Office 365 means that averaging over four years they can achieve 6 hours down time a year and still have a days average exceeding 365, alternatively have 100% uptime for 3 years and then on the leap year take it down for Feb 29th.

  2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    They'll probably get away with this.

    They don't seem to claim that it WILL be up 99.9% of the time, just that they provide a "99.9% guarantee", which may not be interpreted the same way.

    My laptop has a 2-year guarantee. It doesn't mean it WON'T break down in that time - it just means they'll compensate me and fix it if it DOES break in that time. That doesn't seem a world away from what Microsoft say in that quote in the article.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "An ASA adjudication will be published once the investigation is complete. The body said: "It may be a few weeks, but equally it may take longer, depending on the complexity of the issues raised."

    It's a good job that the ASA doesn't have a SLA.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 365 -- its clunky

    I find ZoHo far nicer/useful and it has an equation editor that accepts TeX markup. I find it far more responsive, too.

    I'd even rather use Google Docs than Office 365 because that seems more responsive as well. Especially when trying to paste a column of > 10 figures into a spreadsheet or fill a formula down a column -- I can never get Office 365 to work right. However, both Zoho and Google Docs are fine about that.

    1. Joe Montana

      Clunky - what do you expect?

      ZoHo and Google both want to provide the best web based application suite they can, and don't care what platform you use to access it...

      MS have different goals, they want users to continue buying their desktop software and to be tied in to their desktop platform. Their online suite is a grudging response to competition from Google, and they would have preferred not to have any online version at all. They will keep it mediocre, and always ensure it is a poor alternative to the desktop suite, or tied to it in some way.

      The better online suites become the less people will require desktop suites and can replace their expensive power hungry windows desktops with cheap linux based terminals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Absolutely agree ...

        But can MS realistically keep this shit up forever? Surely people *will* eventually notice that something just as good (if indeed not better especially from a collaboration point of view) is available for as next to nothing as makes no odds?

        I'm not a fan of dumb terminal style PC's myself and will always require a fully-functional (in my case Linux) machine for development, etc, and I will always want to keep local copies of all my private and confidential documents to myself. But for Joe Average -- a dumb PC will be all most need (that and a diet of fart apps).

        Microsoft as we currently know it is, therefore, doomed -- as all their real revenue comes from flogging the Office suite plus a copy of Windows per user/machine sold.

        Sales of only just development software and SQLServer (although huge by anyone else's standards) can't possibly keep them in the style they're accustomed to for very long.

  5. I_am_Chris


    Our work is moving onto 365 shortly. Fingers crossed...

  6. Herby

    Why not call their new operating system...

    Windows 7.99

    Not really a joke, but it could be considered one in some circles.

  7. 5media

    microsoft suffers outages

    when a cloud service goes down, everyone can hear you scream. But that's an advantage to this type of platform, not a disadvantage. And it means that problems get fixed quickly. read this article to see that how this problem becomes and opportunity for microsoft

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