If you are an Xbox Live or Microsoft Azure user, you are probably not a happy camper right now. If you are a user of either of those services then you probably know that they are either not working or severely degraded. According to Microsoft’s Xbox Live status page, Xbox Live users may have issues accessing data and saved games in the cloud. SmartGlass is also affected, along with the Xbox Live Karaoke and ESPN.The issue has been going on for several hours and depending on who you talk to, it may be getting worse. Microsoft specifically highlighted the fact that Xbox Live functionality for Halo 4 is now being affected. As of the latest update posted at 9:03PM ET, Microsoft says “We are still working as fast as we can to fix the issue members are having accessing Cloud Save Games. Thank you for your patience as we work out this issue and make sure to check back here for updates on our progress.”
That won’t be much solace to those of you who are down or experiencing severe degradation though. At this point, it’s not known whether the issue is affecting both Xbox Live and Windows Azure or whether the issue is actually just with Azure and Xbox Live is being affected because of its integration with that service. At this point, 52 different Windows Azure services are listed as either offline or suffering from degraded performance. Microsoft attributes that issue to Azure’s storage service currently being down worldwide “due to an expired certificate.” They go on to say that they are “validating the recovery options before implementing them,” and will keep users appraised with further updates. They don’t specifically attribute the Azure outage to the Xbox Live issues, but one can certainly make an educated guess since cloud storage is affected and Azure is Microsoft’s cloud service.
Windows Azure Storage affected by an expired certificate. We’re working to restore ASAP and apologize for the inconvenience.
— Office 365 (@Office365) February 23, 2013
You would think that Microsoft would have gotten their act together after something like this happened back in February 2012, which took keeps parts of the Azure service down for 12 hours. In that instance, Microsoft cited “a time calculation that was incorrect for the leap year”; the bug caused problems with the proper processing of digital certificates. It is not clear at this time how today’s certificate issue happened. As an IT guy I would love to tell you that this doesn’t happen, but sadly it does, more than it probably should. That’s the risk with cloud services like this, tons of stuff are built on and with them and if the core service has issues then it can take down multiple websites and services, just ask Amazon.
For now, that’s all we know. We’ll try to update this post if any new information becomes available.
Source: Xbox Status Page