INTERNET SERVICES FIRM Google rushed to fix a problem with its Gmail messaging service last night.
Gmail went down at about 5:30pm UK time last night and stayed down for around an hour, leaving millions of people with nothing else to do but go outside, watch the news, or use a different email client. Google's other services, like search and document access for example, were fine.
Google did a good job of keeping its users informed and flagged the problem at around 5.40pm last night, and at that time it said that engineers were looking into it.
Three other messages followed as the firm explained its progress. In the first of these it estimated that around two per cent of users were affected, but around half an hour later it had raised this to 10 per cent.
"We've determined that this issue affected less than 10 per cent of the Google Mail users who attempted to access their accounts during the affected timeframe," it said.
"While we have resolved this issue with Google Mail, it's possible that some users may experience message delays because affected accounts weren't available to receive messages. The messages will be successfully delivered after account access is restored."
Around a minute later, an hour after problems started, it said that all systems were back to normal and apologised for the outage.
Perhaps embarrassingly, the downtime came just when people were chattering about Google's launch of its Google Drive digital locker proposition next week. µ