I heard an interesting report yesterday from someone I know who had subscribed to Microsoft (MSFT) TechNet, a subscription information service for IT professionals. The registration servers were down -- not for an hour, not for a day, but apparently for five days, which again raises questions of reputation damage as Microsoft wants to position itself as a cloud services supplier with Azure.
It's not the first time that Microsoft or others have faced technical problems that questioned how reliable they might be in providing cloud services.
In this case, the would-be subscriber had received a notification of his TechNet ID. All he had to do was log on and provide name, email address, said ID, and associate it with a Windows Live account. Simple, no? No.
"I got the notification and tried logging in a totally of probably more than 30 times. It kept failing. So I opened a help ticket and was told it was nothing I was doing wrong. The server was down and they'd notify me when it was working."Tech support allegedly did, five days after he had logged the problem. He asked if Microsoft would be adjusting the subscription start date to account for the lost days. "They said, 'Not at this time, but we've submitted it for review.'"
I emailed Microsoft's outside PR firm yesterday morning at 9:41 eastern and asked about the outage. Here's the response I got:
Thanks for your email. I'm happy to look into your request and will be in touch as soon as I have more to share.When I emailed again an hour later to get a sense of how long it would take to get an answer, the reply went as follows:
Thanks for your patience while I continue to look into this for you. I'm working as quickly as possible to provide you any information here.I'll be in touch as soon as possible.That was now 24 hours ago. Maybe Microsoft is working on its concept of real time and I'll hear back in five days, mirroring the time that the servers were apparently down. Or could it be that the company wants to avoid discussions that could leave them Azure blue in the face?
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