Feeds

Microsoft 'maintenance' blocks Hotmail

Some paying customers affected

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A growing number of Hotmail users are unable to access their email accounts.

Complaints from Hotmailers have been piling up in Microsoft's Windows Live support portal since at least January 3.

It's not just the cheapo, freebie version used by millions of Hotmail fans that's in trouble. Those forking out $19.95 a year for Hotmail Plus are also blocked.

People are naturally getting angry, with some unable to access their accounts for up to four days.

"Hotmail is a bag of shite," said one Hotmailer who has been blocked from his account for four days. "Why do you suck???," unloaded another.

Just as Microsoft was telling some users it has solved their problem, others have popped up to complain that they've also been denied access to their account.

A Microsoft spokesperson said there was "not any sort of widespread issue" and advised people to contact the Windows Live support site.

Users say they've been receiving messages where Microsoft tells them it is performing maintenance "to improve the service", while also apologizing for the problem.

But it seems that not even Microsoft's techies are confident that "maintenance" is the root cause. Microsoft told Hotmail one user, ShyloFT, that it was "possible" that maintenance was done on his account.

Also, it appears the problem could be an ongoing bug in Hotmail's software or servers. NOTTELLINGYOU, who told Microsoft it sucked, said the problem keeps happening on a regular basis and this is not a one off.

"Someone please explain to me why ever few weeks I [sic] unable to log into my email for hours ad a time?????????????? The [sic] crap gets old. Figure out your problems or update your servers so it can support your customers. FIX THE PROBLEM."

This is the second major Hotmail problem since December 30, when email belonging to nearly 20,000 users simply disappeared. It's not clear whether the two incidents are connected.

Microsoft corporate vice president for Windows Live Chris Jones blamed the loss of Hotmailers' messages on "mailbox load balancing between servers", but Jones didn't provide details. He signed off with a canned corporate promise to fully investigate the cause, to take steps to prevent this from happening again, and so on and so forth.

Thanks to Reg reader Tim who tipped us off to the problem. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes
Developers just want their ideas to generate money
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.