Many Gmail users had problems with the Google e-mail service's ability to communicate with e-mail software Wednesday.
Numerous people on a Gmail Help forum reported problems tapping into Gmail with IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) technology, which lets people with desktop e-mail software such as Thunderbird or Microsoft Entourage to do so.
Google acknowledged the problem but said it's fixed. "Gmail users had difficulty accessing some features in Gmail for about a half hour today. The issue is now resolved," the company said in a statement Wednesday.
"We take issues like this very seriously, and we encourage anyone who is having technical difficulty of any kind with Gmail to contact the Gmail Support team through the Gmail Help Center."
The glitch came at an inopportune time. Google is trying to encourage not just individuals but also companies to use its online services; Google Apps, of which Gmail is a component, features prominently in a Google alliance with Salesforce.com.
"A huge, if not number one selling point for moving one of our companies over to Google Apps was Google's robust network!" complained one user. "Now that we have migrated over, it seems we are abused children who do not deserve an explanation for why the service we pay for is taken offline. Perhaps it is time to find a new e-mail host."
I can't help but notice that after all these years, Gmail still technically is in beta testing, a strong signal that people should be cautious about relying on it.
(Via David Berlind.)