Microsoft claims it restored Hotmail e-mails and service to affected users although complaints about missing messages still persisted on Jan. 3.
Microsoft is still working to fix an issue that deleted Hotmail users'
e-mail. The problem had led to widespread consternation over the weekend, with complaints
about missing e-mail and new messages moved to the Deleted folder.
Many affected users were quick to post on the Windows
Live Solution Center's
online forums. "This morning when I logged into my account, all [my] e-mail is
one user Dec. 31
. "There should be 1,600+ messages in my account. I need it
recovered ASAP. I have critical business information in my e-mail."
Without explaining what exactly had happened, Microsoft deployed engineers
to fix what the
company termed "a limited issue."
By the beginning of the week, a solution
seemed to be in the offing.
"We have identified the source of the issue [and] have restored e-mail
access to those who were affected," a Microsoft moderator posted
on the Windows Live Solution Center forums Jan. 2
. "We recognize that even
though we restored e-mail access, some of the affected users did not receive
mail sent to them during the last 24 to 72 hours."
By 5 a.m. on Jan. 3, the e-mail had
supposedly been restored. "If you are still missing your email, please post
your issue here," wrote another moderator, linking back to the Windows
Live Solution Center
However, some users were still complaining of issues. "I've seen some
reports of some people having their missing e-mail being restored, but mine are
not," read another note posted
on the forums Jan. 3 at 10:31 a.m
. "What do I need to do?"
Microsoft's more recent updates to Hotmail have included Facebook Chat
integration, the ability to track packages within an e-mail without needing to
navigate to the shipper's Website, a new-email attachment size of 25MB, support
for viewing Dailymotion and Justin.tv videos from within an e-mail, and
subfolders for more precise mail management.
The company has also been tweaking Hotmail in response to feedback. "We put
a lot of time and effort into careful planning," Dick Craddock, group program
manager for Windows Live Hotmail, posted Sept. 23 on The Windows Blog, "but we
also recognize that with any release, we can improve, so we do our best to
listen closely and respond actively."
Hotmail certainly faces robust competition from both Google and Yahoo, which
have steadily buttressed their respective e-mail offerings with new features in
the past several quarters. Although Yahoo and Microsoft have a
search-and-advertising partnership, Yahoo executives have been very public
about their desire to compete with other tech giants in the cloud-services
arena. Facebook is also boosting its messaging capabilities, in the process
opening another competitive front.