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8/28/2008
08:40 AM
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Outage At Microsoft's Office Live: That's Life In The Cloud

Users of Microsoft's Office Live Small Business recently experienced a brief e-mail outage. I'm guessing they have a lot to talk about with users of Apple's MobileMe and Google's Gmail.

Users of Microsoft's Office Live Small Business recently experienced a brief e-mail outage. I'm guessing they have a lot to talk about with users of Apple's MobileMe and Google's Gmail. The issues at Microsoft Office Live Small Business involved some intermittent e-mail outages and were resolved fairly quickly. They weren't nearly as severe as the e-mail outages at Apple's MobileMe or Gmail.

But they underscore how vulnerable smaller businesses are when they give over their desktop computing functions to companies that promise to do it all for you.

The Gmail outage prompted Mashable.com blogger, Mark Hopkins to write: "Given the amount of my digital life that is stored at Google, it's a wake-up call. GMail is typically the most reliable of the email systems I've used over the course of my Internet history - it is full featured, generally always there, and extremely versatile."

For Microsoft's outage, ComputerWorld's Eric Lai quotes user Joe Reilly, who owns Marine Wireless Internet. Reilly uses Office Live Small Business, to host his tech firm's Web site and provide his e-mail, where Reilly gets messages like customer payment confirmations. Reilly was reassured by Microsoft tech support that the e-mail he lost in the outage would come back. That didn't happen and when Reilly called back, he was told there was an "extended server outage" and that some customer e-mails had been permanently lost.

But it all comes down to this for smaller businesses:

Writes Lai: "Reilly says that while he's disappointed with Office Live Small Business, he doesn't plan to switch."

Reilly is quoted: "I'm kind of stuck with them."

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