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Microsoft Downtimes Galore

Hand with tendinite problem



Summary: Microsoft BPOS and Hotmail go offline and discrimination against Linux (or Android) users carries on

BPOS was recently downed, increasing the perception that Microsoft cannot be relied upon for SaaS. Mary Jo Microsoft writes about the "second outage in a month":

Microsoft’s hosted suite of enterprise applications — the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) went down for 90 minutes on September 3 for a number of customers in North America.


There is a lot more coverage about it, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. This gives Fog Computing an even worse name, for reliability at the very least. Will the hype end any time soon, maybe when more people understand the dangers of short-term convenience?

Hotmail too was down for several hours the other day:

A technical problem has kept an undetermined number of Windows Live Hotmail users locked out of their e-mail accounts for hours on Thursday.


Hotmail is a mess and the Bangkok Post runs the article "Hotmail uproar" which says: "I am having to use my Gmail account to write to you as, like so many others, my Hotmail just freezes after I log in so I have not been able to read my emails, let alone reply to them."

There are issues just like that following a bad 'upgrade' which also involves more tying to the rest of Microsoft's proprietary stack [1, 2, 3], this time ActiveSync.

As a reminder, Microsoft uses an ActiveSync patent licence with Google as a barrier to support. There is still no support for Android/Linux, claimed Mary Jo Microsoft, who later updated her post as follows:

(Update: Microsoft may be saying it is not yet “officially” supporting Android with Hotmail ActiveSync, but my ZDNet UK colleague Mary Branscombe and others say they’ve gotten EAS to work to varying degrees on various Android phones.)


The best solution for Linux/Android users is never to rely on Hotmail or ActiveSync. Microsoft uses these to discriminate and to control (leveraging access points/APIs) and it's a valuable lesson to users of Mono or Moonlight.

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