Bill Laing of Microsoft has posted a “Root Cause Analysis” (RCA) that not only gives a detailed account of the Leap Year software bug and related issues that hit the Windows Azure servers starting February 28, but also provides unprecedented insights into the Azure cloud architecture.

With the release of the RCA blog, Microsoft announced that it has extended a 33% service credit to ALL customers of Windows Azure. Bill Laing writes: “Microsoft recognizes that this outage had a significant impact on many of our customers. We stand behind the quality of our service and our Service Level Agreement (SLA), and we remain committed to our customers.”

On March 12 Gartner analyst Kyle Hilgendorf blogged that he “was very pleased with the level of detail in Microsoft’s RCA.” In reference to the Amazon Web Services’ EBS outage in April 2011, he wrote “an RCA… is one of the best insights into architecture, testing, recovery, and communication plans in existence at a cloud provider. Microsoft’s RCA was no exception.”