MSN Restores Messenger Access

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-02-08 Print this article Print

Updated: MSN's instant-messaging service returns to normal after an outage hit a significant number of users for a day.

Microsofts MSN division has restored access to MSN Messenger after a large portion of its users faced problems accessing the instant-messaging service over the past 24 hours. The outage, which began Monday evening and affected a "significant" number of MSN Messenger users, was fixed by about 5 p.m. PST on Tuesday, an MSN spokeswoman confirmed. MSN blamed an isolated data-center problem for the outage, and the spokeswoman stressed that the so-called W32/Bropia worm hitting MSN Messenger was not responsible for the access problems.
"Weve identified the cause and are working to take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation as rapidly as possible," the spokeswoman said earlier.
MSN officials had no estimate on the total number of users affected by the outage. MSN Messenger has about 145 million users worldwide. MSN Messenger has battled outages before. In March, it battled two separate outages, each of which lasted for at least three hours and coincided with access problems for other MSN services. Click here to read more about the earlier outages. MSN is not alone among major IM providers in facing service downtime. Most recently, in December, America Online Inc. accidentally disabled the accounts of as many as 10,000 active users, leaving those users without access to AOL Instant Messenger for almost a week. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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