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When Gmail turned into ‘Gfail’

world Updated: Feb 25, 2009 01:54 IST
Gmail breakdown affects users worldwide

Google’s popular email service, Gmail, which has over 110 million users worldwide, went offline at around 2 pm on Tuesday, affecting users throughout the world, especially in Europe and India.

In a statement, Google said “a number of users” were having problems with Gmail. “We know how important Gmail is to our users, so we take this very seriously,” it added.

Users accessing the web version of the email were experiencing problems, with the POP (post office protocol) downloading and mobile access through iPhone and Google’s own G1 still working fine.

Google has the world’s third most popular web mail service, behind Hotmail with 283 million users and Yahoo with 274 million email users.

More than a million businesses use Google’s professional suite of applications, including email. Google itself relies on the service and, the BBC reported, spokespersons were unable to email journalists with statements regarding the problem.

Users worldwide resorted to Twitter, the Gmail online posting service registering about 100 ‘tweets’ per second to discuss the problem.

“Gmail is getting HTTP:502 errors from Gmail. Anyone else got this or does it just hate me today?” said a post on the Twitter thread by ‘sciamachy’ (screen name). “Trouble In The Clouds: Gmail Turns Into Gfail,” ‘crazyengineer’ posted on his tweet.

“We’re aware of a problem with Gmail affecting a number of users... We’re working hard to resolve this problem and will post updates as we have them,” Google posted on its support page. This is Google’s second major technical failure in less than a month.