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Google Talk users lash out over major outage

Google Talk, a desktop and mobile text and voice chat service used by many Google Gmail customers, has suffered a widespread outage Thursday morning that the company says is affecting "a majority of users."

BACKGROUND: 4 Tips to Prep for the Next Amazon Outage 

FUTURE: 10 Coolest Google R&D Projects 

While Google doesn't say how many people use Google Talk, also called Gchat, it's clear that many do based on comments flooding Twitter.

@Betchesluvthis tweeted: " Gchat outage. I haven't felt this out of touch since the great BBM blackout of 2010."

@bomani_jones lamented: "hey, this gchat outage is making it REAL difficult to talk to people i'd prefer not have my phone number."

And @SelenaMay wrote: "If you think a Gchat outage is going to increase my work productivity then you are wrong."

Others switched over to other services. @irrexu wrote: "The day when you needed gtalk the most to chat with team, it was down. thankfully, skype served as backup, else it would've been twitter ;)"

As for Google, it says on its App Status Dashboard that it began investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk at 6:40 a.m.: "We're aware of a problem with Google Talk affecting a majority of users. The affected users are able to access Google Talk, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior." At 7:50 a.m., 8:50 a.m. and 9:50 a.m., Google support provided updates, that it was continuing to investigate the issue, and at 10:50 am, Google reported that "Google Talk service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future."

Cloud-based services have had a rough time of late, with several high-profile outages. Among them, Amazon Web Services going down in June and Salesforce.com suffering outages in June and July. Google's Gmail suffered an outage last month as well, affecting as many as 4.8 million users. 

Bob Brown tracks network research in his Alpha Doggs and Facebook page, as well  on Twitter and Google +. 

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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