Microsoft’s Cloud Bursts for over Two Hours: What Happened?

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Millions of people using Microsoft online services—including Hotmail, Office365 and SkyDrive—found themselves temporarily cut off for a couple of hours last night, as the company was hit by what’s being described as a “major service failure.”

The outage is thought to be related to DNS problems, with the official Office365 Twitter feed admitting that it “Seems to be DNS issue” and the Inside Windows Live blog explaining the solution involves “propogating the DNS configuration changes.”

The outage lasted around two and a half hours, and Microsoft has since said that a review of the incident has been launched. This is the second time Office365 has gone down since its launch in June—it disappeared for a short while in August—and last night’s outage is the second event this week to make cloud computing users nervous (Google Docs apparently disappeared for around thirty minutes on Wednesday).

The only sensible alternative? Clearly: to learn how to use pen, paper and abacus again before it’s too late.

MORE: Microsoft Announces Office 365: Here’s What You Need to Know

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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