Windows Live FolderShare: unacceptable 3-day outage

Windows Live FolderShare: unacceptable 3-day outage

Summary: Microsoft's FolderShare is a great service for synchronizing files across computers. As with any backup service, reliability is a critical user requirement for FolderShare. For this reason, I was rather shocked to learn of an planned three-day service outage starting tomorrow evening.


Windows Live FolderShare: unacceptable 3-day outage

Update 6/17/08 12:00 EDT: The FolderShare blog now reports the outage will last no longer than eight hours, down from the planned three days. Glad the madness is over. Although it's a significant improvement, one day is still too long and we'd like to know why downtime is required.

Microsoft's FolderShare is a great service for synchronizing files across computers. As with any backup service, reliability is a critical user requirement for FolderShare. For this reason, I was rather shocked to learn of an planned three-day service outage starting tomorrow evening.

What's Microsoft thinking by bringing down the service for such a long time? Zoliblog comments:

Such outage would be unacceptable from any service provider - except apparently from Microsoft...

When Salesforce, Twitter, or Amazon go down for hours, it's big news. Although FolderShare's user base is small compared to those services, we're talking about huge Microsoft, which should have the ability to manage downtime more effectively.

Users are attracted to services such as FolderShare for two reasons: useful features and the promise of always-on reliability. Remove reliability from the equation and the service's value plummets.

FolderShare, three days is unacceptable and your poor explanation makes it worse.

Topics: Outage, Microsoft, Windows

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  • Whine. Whine. Whine.

    FolderShare is a free service. It hasn't cost you a dime. Unacceptable outage or not, you can whine to us or move on to another provider that will invariably pull the same stunt.

    Anyone who lives in their parents house free of charge knows the gig. You wanna watch the football game; your mom wants to watch Howie Mandel. Mom has every right to tell you to go watch the game with a friend that pays for his own cable.

    If you want an SLA, search "online backup" and pony up the cash at any of the 'paid' backup providers.

    Until then, stop whining. ;)
    • Free is NO excuse

      Services like FolderShare do everything in their power to attract users and make them dependent. For example, look at Google's Grand Central, where users move their phone numbers to the service. It's free and users still absolutely expect reliability.

      The get what you pay for argument doesn't hold water in this day and age of software companies offering important services and encouraging users to become dependent.

      Free is no excuse for poor management and lack of plannng.
      • Isn't it beta?

        The managers of a free beta service tell you a week ahead of time that the service will be down for 3 days and you think this is unacceptable? Anyone who based a mission critical production system on a free beta service deserves all the pain and misery they get. Anyone who isn't using this in a production system has nothing to complain about.
      • Ah, Yes.

        Grand Central. From the same folks who brought you a long outage on April 13th.

        As for the "get what you pay for" argument, I find that the companies to which I pay to provide a service try harder because there's usually a competitor just down the road.

        I quite like this arrangement and with it don't often have to worry about "poor management" or "lack of planning."
    • It'll be down for fixes for a long time to come ...

      ... a company which, with all of the time and money in the world, can only come up with Windows Vista isn't worth depending on.

      I would say that's the "choice" of brand name obsessed IT consumers, but that discards the pre-installation market lock-up with non-fit-for-purpose products that the monopoly scenario brings.
  • Everyone quickly say a little prayer to the computing-cloud god

    Or better yet... ignore the cloud computing propaganda and use some common sense.

    Set up a home VPN, carry a laptop, and keep all your files under your control.

    Gotta run... I hear the cloud god ready to toss some lightning bolts my way!
    • That's not the point...

      Not everyone knows how to do that. That's why this service exists.
    • Common sense and reliability

      indicates Linux.
  • That's why Mesh is a better idea

    Because Live Mesh actually syncs files to your different devices, the cloud is only holding one of the copies, not the only copy. You can sync up later when the service comes back, if it goes down.

    But I agree, 3 days is ridiculous.
    • Yup, the next phase of anti-competitive nonsense is a great idea

      and we should all trust a company that wishes to force unwanted bloatware down everybody's throats to "deliver shareholder value".

      So basically, IT can be junkware forever as long as the poor feed the greedy. Well done.
  • RE: Windows Live FolderShare: unacceptable 3-day outage

    Regardless of the current issues, cloud-computing is here to stay. I do not carry my portable AC power generator around because it makes no sense in a world of ubiquitous power supply. The time will come when that analogy holds for my computing resources. It is an idea whose time will come and let's applaud these baby steps regardless of the intial difficultes. The future belongs to those who av the vision and capability to realize these "dreams"
  • Bunched Panties...

    You guys all get your panties in a bunch for no reason. It is only going to be offline for 8 hours. Besides, it is in Beta.. It will only be down from 4pm EST to Midnight on Wednesday. That isnt bad for a service that is FREE and in BETA...
    • They reduced the downtime

      Originally, the outage was to be three days. Now, they've reduced it to 8 hours. Much better, but still too long.

      I've updated the post with the new facts.
  • RE: Windows Live FolderShare: unacceptable 3-day outage

    Does anyone really care about Live Folder Share? Seriously? It's only appropriate that you chose to display the dog in the cartoon picture, because that software is basically a dog; a complete piece of rubbish. I tried installing it on two separate occasions (earlier versions), and both times it never worked properly on my 64bit system. I ever gave it a third chance, and never will. I think the project will bet scrapped in favour of the better Live Mesh solution, which I use, and *does* actually work on a 64bit system.

    There is no future for Live Folder Share, or whatever Microsoft is calling it now.
    Ross Snowden
    • I use it on Vista x64

      It's very useful and does work as advertised. Must be an installation issue on your computer.
  • RE: Windows Live FolderShare: unacceptable 3-day outage

    I know this might be somewhat off topic if we're talkin' Live Share but wanted to add their Live Toolbar to the problem as well.

    It freezes each and every time a second tab is opened. Uninstalled it.