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Microsoft has said sorry to users of its Windows Live Messenger service after it sent out a missive yesterday wrongly instructing people to change their email addresses.

“We sincerely apologise, but this was accidentally sent out,” admitted Microsoft. “If you received this notification today, please ignore it. You will be able to continue to use your current email address, and there is no reason to make any changes.”

Redmond coughed to the cock-up following a barrage of complaints from users, who were worried they might have been the victims of an email scam.

Microsoft later clarified it was responsible for the communication mishap sent out to users on 7 April.

“If you have already clicked the link, there is no harm to you. You should have been told that your ‘Windows Live ID can’t be changed at this time’ because there is no need for the change,” said MS.

“These service notifications are only used for urgent issues but unfortunately, somebody made a mistake that caused this message to be sent out. We will definitely be reviewing our process to make sure we avoid such mistakes in the future. Again, we’re very sorry for any confusion that may have been caused.”

Microsoft revamped its unwieldy Windows Live services, which include Hotmail, Spaces and Messenger, in November last year.

At the time the firm was hit by a storm of protest, when many users of Hotmail complained about the free email service's “pathetic” redesign. ®

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