Feeds

Microsoft 'maintenance' blocks Hotmail

Some paying customers affected

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.