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The downside of trusting third party to manage your services in the cloud

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Sep-2007 18:35

Microsoft and Google are big players in the hosted services area - with other good names in the space too, such as Zoho.

But what happens when things stop working?

Microsoft Windows Live Custom Domains is down. I can't get to it to administer domains. It's like the server simply doesn't exist. When I tried to find a support contact it was impossible. There's none. I visited Microsoft's live.com website and clicked on Feedback. There's a huge list of Live services, but Windows Live Custom Domains is not there.

How can we get control of our domains back? A couple of redirects that use the Live Domains service are not working.

If a company relies on Live domains they would now be without access to this service for some time. And there's no contact point.

A friend pointed me to a URL where I could enter feedback to specific Windows Live Products. And this is what I got:



Your current language is English (New Zealand). Support for Windows Live Custom Domains is currently only available from the following list.


Seriously? hat is different in English (New Zealand) from English (Australia) or even English (United States)?

I am able to send feedback when I change my language to English (Australia), but then I get this:


Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We appreciate your feedback and use it to help create better services and products. Unfortunately we cannot provide a personal response to your comments.


Hello!? Your service is down. We can't contact anyone, and if we do provide feedback you tell me you won't contact me back?

This kind of problem is what makes some companies walk, no, run away from hosted services. How can they trust a third party with their information, if the third party cannot be contacted in case of a fault?

We take some companies for granted, but we forget that in this age every service seems to be "beta". "Beta" doesn't mean "under expert testing" anymore. It means "we have a cool service but we can't guarantee it will work, because we keep tweaking it and breaking it".

UPDATE: The service is up, with a downtime of four hours, during which I couldn't contact anyone because I speak English (New Zealand).


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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


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