Update: Google says the problem is resolved; my accounts at least are both back up.

gmail-out-of-betaLooks like there really isn’t much difference between Gmail in and out of beta testing. The email program, as well as Google’s other web apps, finally left beta in May after five years. Already, we’ve hit our first major post-beta Gmail outage. Hooray!

Customer who are paying to use Google Apps can probably expect some free usage to compensate for the wasted time, but non-paying schumucks (like me and most other people who use Gmail for personal email) are stuck fuming. The one improvement over some past outages is that we can check the Apps Status Dashboard, which at least is brazenly honest about letting users know what’s going on. How many companies would admit to “a problem affecting a majority of users?”

We’re aware of a problem with Google Mail affecting a majority of users. The affected users are unable to access Google Mail. We will provide an update by September 1, 2009 1:53:00 PM UTC-7 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem. Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

Google now says service is restored for “some users.” This follows some unreliable behavior earlier today, also noted on the dashboard.

I’m also having a hard time logging into microblogging service Twitter, the de facto gathering area for complaints when web services break. I’m getting repeated error messages when I try to log on — presumably because Twitter is overrun with people complaining about Google.

Oh, and before this brings on the another round of complaints about how cloud computing is unreliable, let’s not forget that almost every technology fails once in a while, not just the cloud.