Do you remember when Google first launched Gmail and EVERYONE had to have one? Well, many of those people experienced another of Google's failures when 150,000 Gmail accounts were reset to new. All of these people started their day signing into their Gmail accounts to find only the "Welcome to Gmail" message. Years of emails, Gtalk chat logs, contacts and anything else stored in their accounts - gone.
While Google was working on solving the problem, a spokesperson said, "Affected users will be temporarily unable to sign in while we repair their accounts." I guess if all of your content is gone it doesn't matter if you cannot access your information. During the process, Google kept its users updated via its App Status Dashboard. One of the initial statuses said,
Our team is continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by February 28, 2011 8:36:00 AM UTC with more information about this problem. Thank you for your patience.
Not that anyone really has patience for Google's disasters anymore, but at least we all expect them. The good news is, as of March 3, the new status says,
The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.
Apparently someone at Google made a tape backup before the system failed.