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Google Docs suffers 30-minute outage

Google's cloud productivity suite takes users offline this afternoon. The Apps Status dashboard has been updated to reflect that all services are back online.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read
Google productivity apps failed at about 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time today. Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET

Update 3:25 p.m. PT: As of 3:10 p.m. Pacific Time, users from locations around the world are reporting the services are coming back online. Google's Apps Status Dashboard is still showing that Docs and Drawings are not working.

Update 3:35 p.m. PT: The status dashboard has been updated to reflect that all services are back online. Apparently, the word processing and drawing apps (Google Docs and Google Drawings) and the main document listing page (Docs List) were nonfunctional during the outage, but other files, in particular spreadsheets, were still available for people who had direct links to them. Google has not disclosed the cause of the outage yet.

Google's suite of productivity apps under the Google Docs banner--the word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, and drawing app--are suffering an outage as of 2:35 p.m. Pacific Time. Users of the free Google Docs and enterprise customers of Google Apps are affected.

The services were down for about 10 minutes and simply not responding before an error page finally surfaced.

Google Mail and Calendar services are not affected.

Google's enterprise group has been confirming the issue with business customers. The company has released this statement:

"We are aware of an issue involving Google Docs and are working now to resolve it as quickly as possible. We will be updating the Apps Status Dashboard regularly. We apologize for this inconvenience."

Quick take: No matter how brief this outage, this is likely to be a major blow to the growth of cloud computing, as it reminds IT managers of the danger of relying on a unified product to serve all a company's users. With traditional installed software and local storage, it's almost impossible for a single outage, outside of a bad operating system upgrade, to affect an entire workforce at once.

Join the live discussion and share your pain (or what you plan to do in your unproductive hours) on Google+, which is still working.