Microsoft is having a rough week as many of its services have gone offline in a series of outages that the company can't afford to have happen on a regular basis. Everything from Xbox Live to Bing has had trouble which means that millions of users and paying consumers have been impacted.
It all started when Azure had a rather significant outage across many of its data centers around the world. The service was impacted for a couple of hours as there was an issue with storage access at the datacenters. The result was that websites and many services were not available during the outage; it was not only Microsoft sites, there are paying users whose products were impacted by the disruption.
The Azure issue impacted Xbox Live and even OneDrive too which means that consumers were having issues accessing their content and of course, gamers where not able to get their nightly fix either.
Following that outage, for a brief time, the Windows Store was knocked offline which means that you could not download or update existing apps. If that wasn't enough, Bing experienced issues around the globe with searches returning back no results. Finally, some users were reporting issues with Outlook.com as well.
It's not clear if all of these issues were related but as Microsoft tries to convince users to move to the cloud, any down time is a black eye for the company.
Considering that Microsoft had a series of outages this week, while their cloud infrastructure has typically had good up-time, this will place a small bit of doubt in the mind of consumers if they were impacted and could not access their content. Because the market is extremely competitive, companies are not measured by how often they are online but how often they are offline.
Azure has had outages in the past and they are not alone as other cloud services have been knocked-offline too. It was the string of service outages this week that is concerning for the company and consumers too as once confidence is lost with customers, it is quite hard to restore.