Lights Go Out At Microsoft

Cloud computing is brilliant, until it starts raining. In Microsoft's case it spent most of the last few hours wading through a thunderstorm when it's Azure platform went down.

Microsoft has ambitions to turn its business to the cloud and is using Azure to achieve this. All of its cloud property is hosted there.

So Friday's Azure failure impacted pretty much the whole shooting match: hosted customers, Skydrive, Xbox Live and even elements of Windows Phone.

Not a good day, although at least most of the world was already enjoying its weekend when the failure occurred.

And a vital lesson for those who have moved to the hosted cloud: it's not always available. So have contingencies in place for when it isn't.