Google Talk Falls Silent Worldwide

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Service restored to the majority of users, but no information on what caused the outage

This morning around noon, the Google Talk instant messaging service, sometimes referred to as Gchat, went down, with users all around the world complaining they were unable to send messages to their contacts.

Google has now claimed to have dealt with the problem, but has not confirmed the cause. “We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better,” the most recent statement read.

Google doesn’t Talk

Earlier in the day, Google was not so upbeat. “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Talk. We will provide more information shortly,” said a status update posted by the company at 11:40 AM.

Ten minutes later, Google elaborated a little more on the subject: “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 behaviour. We will provide an update by 7/26/12 12:50 PM detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.”

Later is said it had contained the situation, and was slowly restoring the service, expecting “a resolution for all users in the near future”. The update went on to explain that “the near future” was an estimate and could change.

What we do know is that the problem was global, affected the majority of Talk users and the Talk component of Gmail and Google+. Android devices were also unable to use the service.

Since the outage occurred a day after the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, many Mac users mistakenly decided that the problem had something to do with Apple, rather than Google.

According to reports, some messages have started to get through, although very slowly. You can follow the updates on the Google’s Apps Status Dashboard. None of the other services listed on the Dashboard appear to be suffering problems.


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