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Watchdog urged to probe Microsoft's cloud claims... again

Why don't you have another crack at it, ASA?

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The Advertising Standards Authority has been asked to reopen an investigation into Microsoft's boasts of 99.9 per cent uptime for its cloud services.

The plea follows complaints that the ad watchdog did not properly tackle Redmond the first time round.

As revealed a while back, the ASA was asked by a Microsoft customer to probe Redmond's claims in the wake of numerous outages that rocked the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) and Office 365.

Instead, Microsoft told the regulatory body that it had "omitted" the word "guarantee" in error and had amended the ads, making it clear that the uptime promise was linked to an appropriate service-level agreement (SLA) that justified the claims, according to a letter from the ASA seen by The Reg.

"Because Microsoft has already assured us that the advertising complained about has been amended, we consider there is little to be gained from continuing with a formal investigation," the ASA wrote.

But the customer said that he was returning to ASA to ask it to revisit the complaint.

"The ASA completely got the wrong end of the stick and thought I was complaining about the word 'guarantee'," he told El Reg.

"I have to pen a new complaint being specific about Microsoft not meeting their advertised SLA rather than stressing the 'guarantee' issue, which is important of itself, but only as a remedy," he added.

Microsoft told El Reg that it is taking the reliability of its cloud services seriously. ®

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