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02.22.10

Downtimes and Lack of Liability as Reasons to Avoid Microsoft Online

Posted in Law, Microsoft, Servers at 4:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Keep it clean

Summary: An aggregation of new articles about Microsoft servers being unavailable, with the victim completely on the weaker side

Microsoft is losing over $2,000,000,000 per year in its online business, according to its financial filings at least. Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’ occasionally goes down [1, 2, 3] (sometimes for a whole day) and Microsoft Nick passes on Microsoft’s excuses, the latest of which is:

Microsoft suggested that a Windows Live outage on Feb. 16, which prevented unknown users from accessing their Windows Live accounts in addition to Hotmail and Xbox Live, was due to a single server failure. While the root problem was identified quickly, Microsoft apparently needed time to resolve what it called the “logjam” due to increased load on the remaining servers. As it seeks to compete against Google and other cloud-based service providers, Microsoft is porting an increasing number of services, notably stripped-down versions of its Office 2010 applications, onto Windows Live.

Had Microsoft had connectivity issues (like WordPress.com), then it would at least manage to blame someone else. But this one is totally Microsoft’s fault and it is likely to happen again.

John Dvorak reminds his readers that Microsoft is allowed to change the terms and conditions at any time, so he advises people to avoid the services and for Microsoft to “get out of the cloud” and instead attack it like it attacked NetPC.

Why isn’t Microsoft trying to derail cloud computing? That’s what I would be doing it its position. It should think about killing Hotmail on a whim and saying, “there’s your cloud computing. Look what happened!” That, ultimately, is the real issue with the cloud. It’s not like your shrink wrapped software or even a stand alone download software package, which you essentially own and control. What would happen if Microsoft killed Hotmail? What would users do?

[...]

From the beginning Microsoft was a company that enabled the individual PC user. Now it talks about the cloud like everyone else. Microsoft really needs to rethink its approach.

Microsoft has just had some “parliament-sponsored” (meaning taxpayers-sponsored) meeting in London where this infamous UK-Microsoft "special relationship" was used to promote so-called ‘cloud’:

During a parliament-sponsored debate in Westminster this morning, Stephen McGibbon, regional technology officer for Microsoft in Europe, claimed the cloud is now the trend on everyone’s lips because of the wide adoption in the consumer market.

Microsoft also conducts self-serving surveys, as usual.

In a new Microsoft survey, SMB organisations are linking rises in revenue to the use of cloud-based managed services. Services such as e-mail and website hosting are proving increasingly popular among small business owners as they look to increase productivity without increasing overheads.

Here is some coverage from the meeting in London. It reminds people that Microsoft cannot be held liable, not even for its obvious negligence [1, 2, 3].

Cloud providers shrug off liability for security

[...]

Businesses signing up for standard cloud services should not expect the provider to accept liability for data breaches and other security incidents, Microsoft and others have said.

At a Cloud Law Summit in London on Wednesday, Microsoft’s head of legal, Dervish Tayyip, said the company would not provide financial guarantees against data-protection issues on cloud contracts.

We wrote about it before. It’s hardly acceptable.

Here is an opinion of someone who understands that Microsoft cannot get the edge online.

Microsoft Azure is available, but does anyone care?

[...]

Moreover, Microsoft has been chasing the infrastructure market for years, yet has had only very limited success.

With such a poor stack to begin with, reliability issues are not exactly surprising. Here is an article about Microsoft “Patch Overload”:

There are Patch Tuesdays, and then there are mega-Patch Tuesdays like this month’s, when Microsoft released a record-tying number of 13 security bulletins fixing 26 vulnerabilities. Handling this heavy load of patches — many of them requiring system shutdowns and reboots — with minimal disruption to business and the rare risk of the patches themselves causing problems is no easy feat.

Linux can do all this without the disruption and sometimes without the rebooting. Azure tops/begins this new list of “Microsoft’s 7 biggest `failures’” and it’s not exactly surprising. Microsoft cannot evolve and it shows [1, 2, 3, 4].

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A Single Comment

  1. satipera said,

    February 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Gravatar

    I hear stories that Microsoft are borrowing and that they have a cash stockpile. If both are true what is going on. If not, again what is going on.

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