Microsoft knocked out by mother Nature

Buzz Bruggeman just called from Seattle. He says that Microsoft’s main campus is without power and trees are down all over the place due to a major windstorm there. Tons of trees down. He says he’s talked with several Microsoft employees and that reports are that folks can’t send email and stuff like that. It’ll be interesting to see what’s running tomorrow. Over on Blogs.msdn.com I saw a few pictures of the damage, sounds really bad.

UPDATE: Mike Hall of Microsoft says that his office has power.
Jeff Sandquist says he hasn’t had power for four days.
TDavid has some pictures of the tree damage.

Jeff just called from Microsoft’s campus and says that there’s power there, but everything else around Microsoft is a mess. He doesn’t expect to have power at his house for a couple of more days. Cell phone coverage is spotty due to the power outages.

He says Microsoft has a pretty decent generator system on its main campus, but did lose power on Friday morning, but is back now.

He says there’s a lot of big trees through people’s roofs. He says wind speed were around 70MPH at his house. He’s lived through lots of storms in Canada, but this one was a doozy, “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

He says that KOMO 1000 radio station has been doing amazing coverage.

Comments

  1. paul says:

    Wow. That must have been a bigger storm than I previously thought. Doesn’t MS have backup power generators and other emergency stuff like phones for possible, now made real, events?

  2. paul says:

    Wow. That must have been a bigger storm than I previously thought. Doesn’t MS have backup power generators and other emergency stuff like phones for possible, now made real, events?

  3. Paul: they have generators for infrastructure (to keep datacenters running, etc), but not for 100% coverage of all offices.

  4. Paul: they have generators for infrastructure (to keep datacenters running, etc), but not for 100% coverage of all offices.

  5. paul says:

    Robert,

    I never thought the NW experienced storms like those on the east coast. I always thought the NW, particularly, Seattle, Oregon coast, etc, was susceptible to tsunamis and of course, major earthquakes.
    I’ve never been to the true NW before. The farthest north I’ve been is Sacramento, and it was not impressive in the least. I would love to live in someplace like Oregon or WA — all those vast old-growth forests are so beautiful.

  6. paul says:

    Robert,

    I never thought the NW experienced storms like those on the east coast. I always thought the NW, particularly, Seattle, Oregon coast, etc, was susceptible to tsunamis and of course, major earthquakes.
    I’ve never been to the true NW before. The farthest north I’ve been is Sacramento, and it was not impressive in the least. I would love to live in someplace like Oregon or WA — all those vast old-growth forests are so beautiful.

  7. who remembers the episode of the short-lived but brilliant “dilbert” series where they knock the satellite down and civilization instantly returns to the dark ages (or elbonia)? good times, good times.

  8. who remembers the episode of the short-lived but brilliant “dilbert” series where they knock the satellite down and civilization instantly returns to the dark ages (or elbonia)? good times, good times.

  9. Solari Picasso says:

    I lived there for 7 years, I was tired of my power going out when any-thing happened weather wise, you’d think in a state with so MANY TREES, and SOGGY SOIL, they would get the message and BURY THE POWER LINES! Oh I guess they don’t want to spoil the way, particularly Ballard looks, so lovely with all the powerlines…

    Also my old house is underwater, glad I don’t live there!

  10. Solari Picasso says:

    I lived there for 7 years, I was tired of my power going out when any-thing happened weather wise, you’d think in a state with so MANY TREES, and SOGGY SOIL, they would get the message and BURY THE POWER LINES! Oh I guess they don’t want to spoil the way, particularly Ballard looks, so lovely with all the powerlines…

    Also my old house is underwater, glad I don’t live there!

  11. Bruce Morgan [MSFT] says:

    On Friday (12/15) morning, main campus was running on emergency power – that means lights in hallways & restrooms, and some specially marked outlets powered in the hallways. The phone system was working as well. A bunch of people were here charging cellphones, laptops, and portable DVD players. WiFi was going up and down in my building, but I understand it worked in some buildings fairly reliably.

    Main campus had full power restored by Saturday afternoon (12/16); I was here in the evening and everything was normal. There are lots of trees down on campus in the landscaped areas but the streets and pathways are cleared of debris.

  12. Bruce Morgan [MSFT] says:

    On Friday (12/15) morning, main campus was running on emergency power – that means lights in hallways & restrooms, and some specially marked outlets powered in the hallways. The phone system was working as well. A bunch of people were here charging cellphones, laptops, and portable DVD players. WiFi was going up and down in my building, but I understand it worked in some buildings fairly reliably.

    Main campus had full power restored by Saturday afternoon (12/16); I was here in the evening and everything was normal. There are lots of trees down on campus in the landscaped areas but the streets and pathways are cleared of debris.

  13. LayZ says:

    @3. Wind storms are fairly frequent in the NW. Like Solari I finally got sick of it…power going out whenever a squirel ran across a power line. The reason the wind storms are so frequent is the terrain around the Puget Sound. The Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades to the east,this create a funnel for the wind to pass through whenever a low pressure passes to the north. A Tsunami has not happened that I know of. Earthquakes happen but are even more rare than the almost yearly wind storms.

  14. LayZ says:

    @3. Wind storms are fairly frequent in the NW. Like Solari I finally got sick of it…power going out whenever a squirel ran across a power line. The reason the wind storms are so frequent is the terrain around the Puget Sound. The Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades to the east,this create a funnel for the wind to pass through whenever a low pressure passes to the north. A Tsunami has not happened that I know of. Earthquakes happen but are even more rare than the almost yearly wind storms.

  15. sungame says:

    Hmm, sounds like someone Up There didn’t like his beta of Vista ;)

  16. sungame says:

    Hmm, sounds like someone Up There didn’t like his beta of Vista ;)

  17. Tom stack says:

    I live in buffalo and understand the pain of this. In october we were without power for 6 and 1/2 days at my house. Massive snow/windstorm. took out half million people closed pretty much everything for like 4 days. some areas had no phone/cable for up to 2 weeks.

  18. Tom stack says:

    I live in buffalo and understand the pain of this. In october we were without power for 6 and 1/2 days at my house. Massive snow/windstorm. took out half million people closed pretty much everything for like 4 days. some areas had no phone/cable for up to 2 weeks.

  19. shoot201 says:

    LOL, they’re mocking the meaning of vista. Clearly someone doesn’t like vista/xbox.

  20. shoot201 says:

    LOL, they’re mocking the meaning of vista. Clearly someone doesn’t like vista/xbox.

  21. I’ve only been living in Seattle a year, having moved from the Bay Area, but originally from Ohio. I’ve never seen a storm like this. All of the damage was caused by wind, but their was little to no rain whatsoever.

    Winds in various areas were reported up to 115 miles an hour. Being somewhat familiar with tornadoes, I looked up wind speeds for tornadoes and basically the pacific northwest was hit by a mid-grade tornado that didn’t have a specific path.

    I didn’t have power on Wednesday and Friday last week, but parts of Seattle are still without power. A local TV station has “crowdsourced” photos that tell a pretty vivid story.

    http://www.king5.com/perl/common/slideshow/sspop.pl?recid=2353&location=www.king5.com

    Ihaven’t seen estimates of the damage yet, but anectdotally, apparently it costs about $7000 to get a tree removed from your house at 3 in the morning (not mine).

    Oy.

    Randy
    randy@boxbe.com

  22. I’ve only been living in Seattle a year, having moved from the Bay Area, but originally from Ohio. I’ve never seen a storm like this. All of the damage was caused by wind, but their was little to no rain whatsoever.

    Winds in various areas were reported up to 115 miles an hour. Being somewhat familiar with tornadoes, I looked up wind speeds for tornadoes and basically the pacific northwest was hit by a mid-grade tornado that didn’t have a specific path.

    I didn’t have power on Wednesday and Friday last week, but parts of Seattle are still without power. A local TV station has “crowdsourced” photos that tell a pretty vivid story.

    http://www.king5.com/perl/common/slideshow/sspop.pl?recid=2353&location=www.king5.com

    Ihaven’t seen estimates of the damage yet, but anectdotally, apparently it costs about $7000 to get a tree removed from your house at 3 in the morning (not mine).

    Oy.

    Randy
    randy@boxbe.com

  23. Tom says:

    I blame it all on Buzz. He leaves Florida and the hurricanes stop. Now he lives in Seattle and the weather has gone ass over teakettle. :)

  24. Tom says:

    I blame it all on Buzz. He leaves Florida and the hurricanes stop. Now he lives in Seattle and the weather has gone ass over teakettle. :)

  25. husky13836 says:

    This was a once in a decade storm. The last one that did this much damage was in 1993. Redmond is finally getting back to normal, but it wouldnt suprise me if the campus goes a few more days before everything is back to normal.

  26. husky13836 says:

    This was a once in a decade storm. The last one that did this much damage was in 1993. Redmond is finally getting back to normal, but it wouldnt suprise me if the campus goes a few more days before everything is back to normal.

  27. Mystery Man says:

    That is a worrying story. I hope everyone is ok. I’m also surprised no-one has made a tasteless Linux-related joke because of this.

  28. Mystery Man says:

    That is a worrying story. I hope everyone is ok. I’m also surprised no-one has made a tasteless Linux-related joke because of this.

  29. Even though power is back on the Redmond campus and large parts of Bellevue/Redmond, a couple of miles East there is still no power and even finding a gas station with power _and_ fuel is a bit of challenge (and may take a long time of standing in line – close to an hour on Sunday morning).

    Starbucks location ended up being a great place to warm up, recharge electronics, and connect to the Web.

  30. Even though power is back on the Redmond campus and large parts of Bellevue/Redmond, a couple of miles East there is still no power and even finding a gas station with power _and_ fuel is a bit of challenge (and may take a long time of standing in line – close to an hour on Sunday morning).

    Starbucks location ended up being a great place to warm up, recharge electronics, and connect to the Web.

  31. paul says:

    @14

    I seriously doubt any Linux-based company would have fared any better, and probably worse.

    Laughing or poking fun at a company’s misfortune (unless their spyware/adware companies) is NOT humane in the least. MS, for all its faults, is a good company that puts out good products. Human beings are cruel and always complaining about something — usually to make themselves feel better than what they are poking fun at.

    In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what OS we use — we’re all just people trying to do our best. I used to be one of those Linux/open-source/anti-MS guys. When my daughter came into the picture, I needed more time to spend with her rather than wasting it on learning how to compile kernels trying to get my video cards and sound cards working with Linux. Linux has its strong points, but if we’re all honest here, people just want to get things done with the least amount of hassle — hence MS. It’s not perfect, but it does what I want it to do. Don’t even mention Macs. I’m not even going to ride that train. Proprietary software can be bad enough, but when coupled with proprietary hardware, then you’re really on an upgrade treadmill that hard to escape if you enjoy the platform.

  32. paul says:

    @14

    I seriously doubt any Linux-based company would have fared any better, and probably worse.

    Laughing or poking fun at a company’s misfortune (unless their spyware/adware companies) is NOT humane in the least. MS, for all its faults, is a good company that puts out good products. Human beings are cruel and always complaining about something — usually to make themselves feel better than what they are poking fun at.

    In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter what OS we use — we’re all just people trying to do our best. I used to be one of those Linux/open-source/anti-MS guys. When my daughter came into the picture, I needed more time to spend with her rather than wasting it on learning how to compile kernels trying to get my video cards and sound cards working with Linux. Linux has its strong points, but if we’re all honest here, people just want to get things done with the least amount of hassle — hence MS. It’s not perfect, but it does what I want it to do. Don’t even mention Macs. I’m not even going to ride that train. Proprietary software can be bad enough, but when coupled with proprietary hardware, then you’re really on an upgrade treadmill that hard to escape if you enjoy the platform.

  33. Ali Abdin says:

    The storm was/is terrible. Its tough to live without power for several days.

    I know some people who went to stay at Microsoft, rather than stay in their apartments with no heat and no food.

    I recently started at Microsoft (on Oct) coming from a very warm climate (Egypt!) – so far I’ve had to encounter a snow/ice storm, record rainfall in November, and now this :) I wonder what more I’m gonna encounter this winter.

  34. Ali Abdin says:

    The storm was/is terrible. Its tough to live without power for several days.

    I know some people who went to stay at Microsoft, rather than stay in their apartments with no heat and no food.

    I recently started at Microsoft (on Oct) coming from a very warm climate (Egypt!) – so far I’ve had to encounter a snow/ice storm, record rainfall in November, and now this :) I wonder what more I’m gonna encounter this winter.

  35. melissa says:

    Wow, that’s a big mess,hope everything gets back up and running soon.

  36. melissa says:

    Wow, that’s a big mess,hope everything gets back up and running soon.

  37. raincoaster says:

    I live in Vancouver, and apparently this was the biggest windstorm in recorded history, beating the legendary typhoon from the early part of the 20th Century.

    I’m commenting from a public computer because my internet is STILL out, days later. I was a bit shocked, because I had thought that the cable lines were all underground. Live and learn.

  38. raincoaster says:

    I live in Vancouver, and apparently this was the biggest windstorm in recorded history, beating the legendary typhoon from the early part of the 20th Century.

    I’m commenting from a public computer because my internet is STILL out, days later. I was a bit shocked, because I had thought that the cable lines were all underground. Live and learn.

  39. Heather says:

    Let’s put the “natural” in “metronatural”, I guess.

  40. Heather says:

    Let’s put the “natural” in “metronatural”, I guess.

  41. stjarna67 says:

    All this means is that Microsoft will be forced to buy Mother Nature and absorb its technology. Microsoft Programmers will then write bloatware to manage the weather which will,of course, be inseparable with Internet Explorer. Forecasts will now be given by that little paperclip guy.

    The program will now be likely to crash, but we can remain hopeful about doing a SYSTEM RESTORE if we get hit with something like Katrina again.

  42. stjarna67 says:

    All this means is that Microsoft will be forced to buy Mother Nature and absorb its technology. Microsoft Programmers will then write bloatware to manage the weather which will,of course, be inseparable with Internet Explorer. Forecasts will now be given by that little paperclip guy.

    The program will now be likely to crash, but we can remain hopeful about doing a SYSTEM RESTORE if we get hit with something like Katrina again.

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