Leaving the media hype surrounding this situation (and people saying that google is evil) there is a few things to keep in mind... The situation that happened yesterday leaves no doubt that even the best brains and the best people money can buy, they DO MAKE MISTAKES - as we all do. It happened to Google this time, it may happen to your company tomorrow (or has already happened but you don't want to talk about it).
Yes - I got my part of 'grief and complaints' from my own users, it's perfectly normal situation I would say, so I wasn't even annoyed. I've called Google Support Team, got connected immediately to a very nice guy that confirmed that they have a wide-spread problem running for about 20 minutes now... and that all engineers are already on it (sounds like 'all hands on deck') and offered a callback when it is sorted. As a matter of fact, about 30-45 minutes later webmail access was quite slow but was working again.
Now let's wrap it up:
- they had a problem - big deal, who hasn't?
- they admitted it - there was no fooling around
- they got really good response time and fixed the problem
- ... and I would say they will have no problems keeping up to their SLAs (only one access channel was down - webmail, IMAP/POP/SMTP worked for me all the time), so can we say that Google Mail was down? Not really!