The great Gmail outage, which as far as I can tell lasted a couple of hours over night in the US has prompted some nasty articles such as this one from TechCrunch where they derisively refer to Gmail as Gfail. Let's grow up, people. Software fails all the time and online services like Gmail and other cloud vendors are not going be immune to outages from time to time.
Thunderbird Lost My Mail
How many of us can say that we have never had a problem with our desktop email client? Issues happen all the time. I used to use Thunderbird as my email client, but I gave up after persistent problems including losing my email. I use Mac Mail now and I had an issue last year where I opened my email client and my mail was gone. I called Apple Care and the tech helped me restore my mail, but the point is that stuff happens with software all the time, and just because it's a cloud application, doesn't mean it's never going to go down.
Cloud Services Still Convenient
I suppose if a service started to have consistent problems, you would have something to complain about. If Gmail were to start going down for a couple of hours every week, for instance, we might grow tired of it, no matter how convenient it is, but so far at least, I haven't seen that happening. The fact is that Google has offline and IMap features that let you get your mail in different ways. If you're not happy with Gmail, you can download your mail and move it to your desktop email client or another cloud email choice.
The Sky's Not Falling
So while it may fun to make fun of Google--what they heck, they're a major corporation that just screwed up big time--let's not use this an excuse to trash cloud computing in general. This type of thing is going to happen and we might as well get used to it. Let's not act like we've never seen a software screw-up before because I'm quite sure that every one of us have.