Cloud caves in on Microsoft

Many of Microsoft's cloud-based services disappeared offline last night, leaving millions of users unable to use the likes of Hotmail, Office 365 and Skydrive.

Microsoft thinks something went wrong with the DNS address system, but is still scratching head and beard trying to find the root of the problem.

Meanwhile, as the industry goes cloud bananas, the weaknesses inherant in a remote software storage service are laid bare for all to see.

Microsoft's recently revamped cloud-based Office 365 was the result of the perceived need to combat Google Docs, protecting one of the Windows maker's most lucrative cows of cash. It's getting the hard sell from Microsoft, but the sell will be all the harder if it proves unreliable.

"If you've been trying to use Hotmail, SkyDrive, or our other Live properties in the last couple of hours you may have noticed problems accessing our services," Microsoft's Chris Jones blogged late last night. "We're aware of these issues and actively working to resolve them. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience."

After a couple of hesitant reboot,s it was a few hours later before Jones could write: "We have completed propagating our DNS configuration changes around the world, and have restored service for most customers."

Users posting in the comments section of the blog were less than impressed, "Where did my post go? Not working for me in India," wrote one.