Microsoft cloud execs are crossing their fingers that Office 365, the pending successor to the Business Productivity Online Suite, is a safer bet for customers following yet another crash in North America.
Customers across the region and in London reported problems logging into the hosted service – Exchange Online and SharePoint Online – from yesterday morning for three hours as Microsoft tried to resolve the outage, which transpired to have been caused by network hardware failure.
"Some BPOS customers served from the Americas region began experiencing intermittent issues connecting to services due to network equipment issues in the data centre," said Microsoft in a statement sent to The Register.
"During this incident, customers were updated via social media channels, as access to the Service Health Dashboard was impacted by this incident. We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused our customers," it added.
This is not the first instance of BPOS collapsing: only last month the software giant offered up an apology to clients using its collaboration service.
IT admin bods were found yesterday sharing negative experiences of using BPOS on Microsoft's Online Services forum.
"I'm very disappointed in BPOS, this is the fourth down in two months and this is supposed to be reliable. We went from in house group wise [sic] to hosted Microsoft BPOS, not only [are we] getting culture shock, we're getting down-time," said one.
Another said: "We are going to stick it out through the Office 365 transition out of pure masochism, but it's doubtful we'll bring any of our clients to MS hosted applications in the foreseeable future."
Mike Knapp, IT manager at OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals, said on the BPOS Twitter stream that the service had been dogged with reports of bad experiences, downtime, odd issues and slowness. "Can't wait for Office 365 migration."
Office 365, set to launch on 28 June, has come in for its fair share of criticism from Microsoft resellers, which suspect it is part of the first efforts from Microsoft to nick their business.
Microsoft has refused to discuss Office 365 ahead of the release date but on its Microsoft Online Twitter feed, the vendor said the new platform "should provide a more stable service. It is built from ground up ... and expectations are very good".
Let's face it, given the BPOS downtime, they need to be. ®