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Microsoft adCenter down for hours, customers tweet

Microsoft's adCenter online advertising platform has been experiencing service problems during the afternoon of August 29, customers are noting via Twitter. Microsoft is working to address the issue.

A number of Microsoft adCenter customers are reporting problems logging into the system that have been going on for several hours.

Around 6 p.m. ET on August 29, the Microsoft adCenter Twitter account acknowledged there was an issue and that it was being addressed.

I've asked Microsoft for more information on what's going on and will update this post with any additional details I get.

Several customers took to Twitter to air their frustrations and share updates.

"If your having trouble logging into @adCenter support tells me they are having system-wide issues," said Tweeter Matthew Heeb (@heeber)

"Can't catch a break! Trying to launch new PPC ad campaign today and #Microsoft #adCenter is totally down - no ETA," said Tweeter Brian Fritton (@bfritton)  around 5:30 p.m. ET.

James Zolman (@jameszol) asked via Twitter for an update, noting that it had "been over an hour now at least" since he could log in.

Andrea Loar (@andraloar) also tweeted around 5: 30 p.m. ET that she was "frustrated with @adCenter - have been getting 'experiencing problems' message for several hours now."

Similar to Google AdWords, Microsoft's adCenter platform provides pay-per-click advertisements.

I'm not sure if adCenter runs on the same datacenter infrastructure as other Microsoft Online Services, like BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), Office 365 and Dynamics Online CRM. Those three services experienced outages earlier this month. Microsoft officials have provided a bit of information about the cause of the late-August Office 365 outage, but not a thorough debrief.

Microsoft is working on building a common core online services platform, known as its Online Service Delivery Platform, that will provide many of  its cloud services with a common digital marketing, commerce, interface, marketplace and infrastructure. Again, I do not know whether adCenter figures in here.

In other adCenter news, the adCenter team blogged today about coming changes to its ad quality and relevancy policy, which are set to take effect on August 31.

Update No. 1 (9:30 p.m. ET on August 29): According to an update on the adCenter blog, the root cause of today's issue has been discovered and the team members "are aggressively working to resolve it." Also: "There have been no disruptions to service, your ads are still serving -- the issue only affects the ability to log in."

Separately, in response to my question about whether today's adCenter outage is related in any way to the recent Microsoft Online Services outages, a spokesperson said: “This is not an infrastructure issue, but an application only issue. There is absolutely no connection to any of the other services mentioned.”