Reports surfaced recently that Xbox Live had gone dark. Other Microsoft services have followed. The problems appear to stem from Microsoft's cloud computing service Azure, which is the brains for many Microsoft services.
According to the Windows Azure Services Dashboard, there is at least a problem with some Azure storage services, which is marked as present at suffering from “Performance Degradation.”
Azure is a growing product for Microsoft, with revenue over the billion dollar mark. It is also a core component of the New Microsoft, in which services replace traditional software. Those services more often than not run on Azure. If it goes down, it takes quite a bit with it.
I have several calls into Microsoft asking what's up, and the like. They are likely still figuring it out for themselves. I cannot confirm at this time the extent of what is down, but I'm hearing that TechNet is scuppered, some people can't get email, and so forth. This could take a while, folks, so put on your Patience Hat.
However, while Microsoft rights its ship and tells us what went down, at least there is time for jokes:
@alex Do you think Google will make t-shirts and cups about Azure went down?