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Microsoft was found floundering at the bottom of the list in a study of which social networking websites experienced the most downtime in the space of a month.

Internet monitoring firm Pingdom tested the availability of the 12 largest social networking sites on the internet including Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo! 360, LiveJournal, Bebo and Windows Live Spaces (formerly MSN Spaces) from 19 October to 19 November.

It found that Microsoft's offering limped into last place with a total outage of three hours for the entire period tested.

Much of that downtime was accredited to Friday 19 October during US daytime, when pre-beer internet activity would have been high.

Pingdom reckoned that the software firm's performance would have affected a large amount of its 27 million-strong users who like to stalk keep track of their friends' every move via Web 2.0 "utilities".

In contrast, Yahoo! 360 came out on top in the test with zero downtime, while arch rivals Facebook and MySpace tied, notching up 10 minutes of outage each.

The survey measured home pages of the 12 sites and determined them as being down if they did not respond within 30 seconds. ®

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