Microsoft claims the Hotmail outage affecting 17,355 users last week was caused by mailbox load balancing between servers. It also insists service is restored.
Microsoft is blaming its recent Hotmail outage on server
"Beginning on December 30th we had an issue with Windows
Live Hotmail that impacted 17,355 accounts," Chris Jones, vice president of
Windows Live engineering, wrote
in a Jan. 3 post on the Inside Windows Live blog
. "Customers impacted
temporarily lost the contents of their mailbox through the course of mailbox
load balancing between servers."
Jones then insisted that Microsoft had "restored e-mail to
the impacted accounts as of yesterday evening, January 2nd," and that the
company was "very sorry for the inconvenience."
Over the weekend, users had taken to the Windows Live
Solution Center's online forums to complain about missing e-mail and new
messages moved to their Deleted folders. By Jan. 2, the problem had escalated to
the point where news reports started to appear, and Microsoft's engineers
worked to fix what the company termed "a limited issue."
By 5 a.m. on Jan. 3, e-mail had supposedly been restored.
"If you are still missing your e-mail, please post your issue here," wrote
a Microsoft moderator on the forums
, linking back to the Windows
Live Solution Center
However, some users still complained of issues. "I've seen
some reports of some people having their missing e-mail being restored, but
mine are not," read a note posted
on the forums Jan. 3 at 10:31 a.m.
"What do I need to do?"
By Jan. 4, users were still posting messages about lost
e-mail, but it remains unclear whether those complaints are isolated incidents or
connected somehow to the earlier Hotmail outage.
"I have all my junbox [sic] e-mails but I don't have any
inbox SAVED emails. help please!" reads one comment posted
Jan. 4 on the Windows Live Solution Center
"When I signed on to my account today, my Inbox was
completely clean," notes
. "I looked at my deleted e-mails and did not see any of the ones
that should have been in the Inbox. So, I know none were accidently deleted."
In a bid to compete against both Google and Yahoo, which
have steadily expanded their e-mail offerings over the past several quarters,
Microsoft has introduced updates to Hotmail,
including Facebook Chat integration, the ability to track packages within an
e-mail without needing to navigate to the shipper's Website, a new e-mail
attachment size of 25MG, support for viewing Dailymotion and Justin.tv videos
from within an e-mail, and subfolders for more precise mail management.