Microsoft online services down

Millions of Microsoft users were left unable to access some online services overnight because of a major service failure.
Hotmail, Office 365 and Skydrive were among the services affected.
 
Microsoft was still analysing the cause of the problem on Friday morning, but said it appeared to be related to the internet's DNS address system.
Such a major problem is likely to raise questions about the reliability of cloud computing versus local storage.
Especially embarrassing is the temporary loss of Office 365, the company's alternative to Google's suite of online apps.
Its service also went offline briefly in mid-August, less than two months after it launched.
The latest disruption is believed to have lasted for around two-and-a-half hours, between 0300 GMT and 0530 GMT.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is responsible for translating URL web addresses , such as bbc.co.uk into the internet's native system of IP addresses, e.g. 212.58.246.95.

However, the fact that Microsoft's Office 365 is a paid-for service, with users charged 4 per month, may raise expectations of a more robust setup.
Moving applications from installed software on individual computers, to web-based "software as a service" has been a major trend in computing in recent years.
Such systems are seen as easier to manage, simpler to scale-up and down, and potentially offering more robust security.
But a number of high profile failures have dented confidence in cloud computing.
Among them have been several failures of Amazon's EC2 - the company's remote computing service, which allows businesses to hire additional processing power and storage on demand.
The system failed in April 2011, impacting several large websites, including Foursquare and Reddit.
Another period of down time in August brought affected many of the same websites.