Users of Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure compute platform have been affected by an availability issue.
The service was down for 2.5 hours. Microsoft said: "The recent Windows Azure service interruption in the Western Europe sub-region has been resolved. We apologise for any inconvenience this outage may have caused our customers. The duration of the service interruption was approximately 2.5 hours and was resolved at 6:33 AM PDT. Customers who have questions regarding this incident are encouraged to contact Customer Service and Support."
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According to the Windows Azure Status application, the service experienced problems at 11:54am.
The availability issue is a major embarrassment for Microsoft, which has only recently started competing head-to-head with rival Amazon's EC2 service for computing in the cloud.
Last month, the company made a major announcement, announcing support for open source tools and the Linux operating system on its Azure cloud platform. The move could make Azure a viable alternative to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Rackspace.
In March, Azure was hit by a leap-year bug which affected management services. At the time, Microsoft claimed most customers had their management capabilities restored within 12 hours of the leap-year 2012 outage, although for some users that didn't happen for more than 24 hours after the outage began.