February 16, 2010
Posted: 06:03 PM ET
Access to Hotmail and several other Microsoft services was restored Tuesday afternoon after a server outage made it impossible for many users to sign in and access their e-mail.
The Windows Live ID service, which includes the free Hotmail service, instant messaging and new Xbox Live accounts, went down at about 12:30 p.m. ET, according to a Microsoft statement.
The problem was fixed in about an hour, Microsoft said, although customers were locked out for a while afterward.
Arthur De Haan, a Windows Live spokesman, said a server failed, increasing the load on other servers. A new server was brought into rotation, but it took a while to resolve the logjam of attempted sign-ins and to redistribute that load among the working servers, he said.
“As with all incidents like this, we will fully investigate the cause and will take steps to prevent this from happening again,” De Haan wrote on the official Inside Windows Live blog. “We’re very sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you, our customers and partners.”
Hotmail is one of the two most popular e-mail services in the world, along with Yahoo! Google’s Gmail is third.
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