Google Docs offline for 'significant' number of users

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Google Docs was inaccessible for a "significant subset” of users on Wednesday.

The company confirmed the issue on its status page but did not offer more information.

Docs is a core feature of Google’s cloud computing service.

A spokeswoman for Google would not confirm to the BBC how many users encountered the problem, but said she did not believe any customers who paid for extra storage were affected.

Problems were reported by users trying to access the programs across the world., which tracks outages around the world, suggested US users were having the most significant issues - though there were some reports in Europe, where the outage occurred at a time that was outside of typical hours for most business.

The down time lasted for between 30 minutes and an hour, during which many people used Twitter to complain.

Image copyright DownDetector
Image caption A map showing reports of Google Docs being inaccessible

At 2209 GMT the Twitter account for Google Docs said: "Docs is back up for most users, and we expect a full resolution for all users shortly.

"Sorry for this disruption and thanks again for your patience with us.”

It is the second time in recent weeks that Google Docs users have been left frustrated by glitches in the system.

In October some users were locked out of a files after they were wrongly tagged as being “inappropriate” content. The company apologised for the disruption.

Cloud computing - where files are stored and edited on the internet rather than locally on your computer - is a major part of the technology sector.

Those services remaining stable and reliable is crucial for businesses that rely on the software for day-to-day work.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader by revenue, but it is not immune to down time - an incident at the start of this year saw more than 150,000 websites taken offline due to an Amazon fault.

Update Thursday 16 November:

Google's service status page said the problem had now been resolved.

"We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support," it added.

"Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

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