Users of Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) suite are reporting on July 19 yet another "service disruption" -- one that sounds very much like the June 22 one that affected a number of users of Microsoft's cloud service.
As happened last month, the BPOS disruption resulted in the service health dashboard not updating, leaving frustrated BPOS users in the dark about what was happening.
The problem this time, again, seems to be linked to Exchange Online, the cloud version of Exchange that is at the heart of Microsoft's Google Apps alternative. Today's downtime is affecting users in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, according to a notice posted on Microsoft's BPOS status feed.
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"Would you believe, another BPOS outage?" said one customer who e-mailed me around 1 p.m. ET on July 19. "I’m seeing issues with the web-based OWA (https://mail.microsoftonline.com), usually brings up a login page, and our mobile devices are having trouble syncing."
"BPOS is experiencing yet another service interruption. Just like the one on June 22nd," said another user who pinged me around the same time.
BPOS is a bundle of Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Communications Online. The successor to BPOS is Office 365, which Microsoft launched at the end of June. Microsoft officials have said they expect Office 365 to be more resilient than BPOS because Exchange Online in the Office 365 version has been architected to be multitenant from the get-go. (The Exchange Online version in BPOS is based on older Exchange 2007 code that was adapted to work in the cloud.)
I've contacted Microsoft Online Services for a status update on today's BPOS disruption. As of 1:45 p.m. ET or so, te @MSOnline twitter account is saying that there's an investigation of e-mail connectivity issues affecting the Americas.
As of 2 p.m. ET, @MSOnline said that the disruption was over and service restored:
As one of my twitter followers noted, all these BPOS issues are going to give a migration push to those willing to stay with Microsoft's cloud service. But in the meantime, the disruptions are definitely detrimental for partners and customers who are sold on Microsoft's cloud platform.
I've asked Microsoft officials if there is any plan to shore up BPOS as it exists now, knowing that migrations to Office 365 may take a year. If I hear back on that, I'll let you know what the plan is.