Google Drive returns after unexpected outage which caused widespread disruption

Google Drive's outage yesterday which caused chaos for businesses, educational institutes and users around the world appears to have been resolved.

The company's productivity apps, which include Google Docs and Google Sheets went down on Friday afternoon US time. The outage meant that users' were unable to access their documents and spreadsheets for more than an hour, resulting in widespread disruption for classrooms and businesses who depend on the cloud platform.

Some users who tried to open documents, spreadsheets or presentations from Google Drive were greeted with error messages while others were completely unable to even load the Google Drive website.

Google released a statement confirming that "Google Drive, Docs editors and Classroom have been restored for 99.5% of affected users as of 1:01 PM Pacific, and for the remaining 0.5% of users by 2:10 PM Pacific", adding that "during the event, our top priority was to restore service."

At the time of the outage Google took to Twitter to confirm the problem but did not reveal the cause.

The company has revealed that the problem was caused by "a code push which behaved differently in widespread use than it had during testing" and promised full details in its incident report.

It remains to be seen whether the incident will have damaged the trust users place on it. Many users cannot afford to risk being unable to access documents and spreadsheets during presentations and business meetings and so continuing problems or an unsatisfactory incident report from Google could lead them to move to other cloud-based services.

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