Over at The Register, they have tell of a outage that struck today and left over 900,000 people unable to access their apps and data for about an hour today, starting 12:00 pm PST (so about 20:00 GMT).

While it perhaps hasn’t affected many UK companies, having that many business users, particularly in the States offline, “paralyzes a small fraction of the world’s economy” to quote El Reg. In these tough economic times to have almost 1 million man hourswasted in a day (and that’s just the directly affected number, the knock on could well increase that number significantly) isn’t a particularly¬†great advert for SAAS.

It does however help strengthen Microsoft’s strategy of Software PLUS Services (S+S), rather that Software AS a Service (SAAS). Microsoft’s S+S is based on users having some software installed on-premise and then complementing that with online services so if a style outage was to hit Microsoft-customers would have a much better¬†chance to stay productive. Perhaps they wouldn’t have access to ALL the features but some are definitely better than none!

See my first impressions of using Microsoft’s S+S BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) here.

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