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MS 'disappointed' with Xbox Live connectivity woes

Offers free game in compensation

Business security measures using SSL

Microsoft is to offer gamers a free game download to compensate them for all the connectivity problems many of them experience accessing its Xbox Live service during the past few weeks.

The software giant blamed the problems on the sheer number of Xbox gamers trying to get online at the same time, including what the company claimed was the largest sign-up of new members to Xbox Live in in the service's five-year history.

Microsoft's Xbox Live General Manager, Marc Whitten, claimed Live wasn't ever entirely offline during the Christmas period, but it admitted it was "disappointed in [the service's] performance"

The free download will be made available in the comping weeks, Microsoft said - as will details of what it plans to offer punters.

The big problem may not have been numbers per se, however. John Alden, VP of Business Development at online gaming infrastructure company GameRail, this week suggested them trouble may have arisen from the volume of software updates all these new users, and others, were being pushed as soon as they logged on to the Microsoft service.

Alden told Light Reading that gamers experienced similar issues when Microsoft released Halo 3.

"The initial onslaught of Halo 3 players saturated the network with updates, which are fairly large files," he said.

Microsoft last gave Xbox Live subscribers a free game in November 2007, to celebrate the service's fifth birthday.

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