RIM says service improving, BlackBerry users scoff

A technical glitch in Europe quickly spread, leaving millions of Blackberry users across the globe without access to email, Blackberry Messenger or data services. Scott Pelley reports.

LONDON - BlackBerry services buzzed back to life Thursday across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India, after a three-day outage that interrupted email messages and Internet services for millions of customers.

Research In Motion Ltd., the Canadian company that makes the phones, posted a statement Thursday that says services are better. BlackBerry users around the world have faced huge problems over the past few days getting and receiving emails and messages, as well as launching Internet services.

The company says it will monitor the situation around the clock to make sure there's no repeat.

Bad timing for BlackBerry service fail
ZDNet: Sorry BlackBerry fans, I just can't stick around any longer

Research In Motion said a crucial link in its European infrastructure failed Monday, and that its backup also failed. Although the underlying issues have been repaired, the system had built up a backlog of emails and messages that needed to be wound down.

The failure in Europe soon spread to regions all round the world, including the U.S. and Asia.

Users fumed and confidence in the brand was strained at a time the company is fighting a big battle with Apple. The timing of the outage was that much more unfortunate for RIM as it came on the launch of Apple's new iPhone. The outage is also troubling for RIM because the episode undermined, however briefly, its reputation for offering rock-solid reliability in the enterprise market, its core business.

The company's latest announcement hasn't yet done much to ameliorate sharp criticism from BlackBerry users on social networks. The outage has also inspired more than a few wags to weigh in with a few of bons mots on the Twitter transom. A sample:

  • What did one BlackBerry say to the other BlackBerry?...Nothing
  • If the iPhone also went down today would we have a blackberry & apple crumble?
  • One positive of the #BlackBerry crisis-my personal trainer can't get hold of me.
  • I think I preferred my Blackberry when it didn't work.
  • iPhone users are Downloading iOS 5. And the Blackberry users are playing Tetris because they can't even use the blackberry.

But when it comes to spoofing the outage, this BBC bit deserves special mention.

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