Microsoft Revives Hotmail After Catastropic Outage

Dennis Faas's picture

Just because they're the biggest software company in the world and, at the very least a heavy-hitter in the webosphere, Microsoft doesn't always have all the answers. The Redmond-based firm is struggling to determine exactly why millions of Hotmail users were recently barred from accessing their accounts.

Although the problem has since been fixed, for several hours earlier this week about 80 million Hotmail users were unable to log in to their email or instant messaging accounts. The issue affected Hotmail fans around the world early yesterday afternoon, UK time.

According to Microsoft, a few users were still without access the next day. In a statement, the company revealed, "Yesterday, an issue began that has caused some consumers worldwide to experience difficulty logging in to their Windows Live ID accounts...This issue has since been resolved and normal operations have been restored to all customers." Not much new information there. (Source:

The list of countries affected by the scare was a long one. Hotmail users in the Czech Republic, Honduras, Finland, Holland, France, the UK, and of course the US of A all reported problems accessing their ever-important free mail accounts.

Other Windows Live features were also zapped, including popular online gaming source, Xbox Live. (Source:

Problem is, many users have become very dependent on the service for personal or even business functions. One user complained, "I cannot take this sort of outage for my business again...This comes at a mission-critical time for me. Not a good story for Microsoft Live."

Windows Live Hotmail accounts for a staggering 24 per cent of the world's email accounts, just a point behind 25 per cent-er Yahoo.

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