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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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March 17, 2009 1:25 PM

Routine Hotmail maintenance affects 1 percent of users, but all should be well now

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

hotmail complaints.JPGA reader reported being unable to access Windows Live Hotmail and pointed to the Windows Live Help site, where other people have reported access problems in the last 24 hours. (I counted at least 15 individuals complaining in Recent Discussions threads dated March 17. A couple others report years of e-mail disappearing from their accounts.) My Hotmail is working fine. A Microsoft spokeswoman says via e-mail: "Last night Windows Live Hotmail conducted routine maintenance, affecting approximately 1% of Hotmail customers, that caused a temporary delay of mail delivery to affected accounts. The issue has been resolved, and mail delivery has resumed. Microsoft worked quickly to resolve this issue and has restored service for all Hotmail customers. Microsoft apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused consumers."

The company had a spate of sign-in issues late last month. Update, 2:19 p.m.: That was actually in February 2008. Here's a link to the latest Hotmail downage, which was reported by LiveSide.net just last week.

Comments | Category: Online services , Windows Live |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 11, 2009 6:29 PM

Microsoft cloud services progress report

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

For a few years now, Microsoft's mantra has been "software plus services," the idea that customers can chose how they buy and consume the company's products. For example, a business may choose whether to buy Exchange for e-mail and run it on its own servers or have Microsoft host Exchange in its data centers and provide it as a service for a per user, per month subscription. For many products, there are also third-party partner companies that offer similar hosting models for Microsoft's business applications. Last week, I talked with three Microsoft executives about which among these options looks the best to Microsoft from a financial perspective, and how the online businesses are evolving.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Enterprise , Financial , Online services , Windows Azure |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 2, 2009 5:00 AM

Microsoft Online Services expands, adds new package for 'deskless' workers

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft continues to build out its online services offering for businesses with an upcoming expansion into Europe and Asia and a new lightweight package for workers who aren't currently using corporate e-mail and collaboration systems. The company is announcing today that Microsoft Online Services, versions of the company's lucrative business software for e-mail, collaboration and online meetings, will be available for trial in 19 countries in Europe and Asia, beginning in April.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Enterprise , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 24, 2009 6:15 AM

Microsoft Strategic Update: Ballmer tells Wall Street more dramatic cost cutting would be 'imprudent'

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

With Microsoft's Redmond campus largely emptied out for the winter holidays, CEO Steve Ballmer crunched the numbers on the proper level of spending for his company against the current economic climate, which he has repeatedly referred to as a "reset" rather than just a recession. Ballmer said his own estimates for the weakness and duration of the downturn tend to be more severe than those of other business leaders he meets.

With that in mind, he settled on $27.5 billion of operating expenses -- a level the company aims to hold relatively steady through the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and during its 2010 fiscal year. Ballmer made clear to financial analysts meeting in New York this morning for the company's annual strategic update that cutting back even more significantly -- say to $20 billion -- would be "imprudent."

"I think this is right," Ballmer said.

That should give some comfort to those wondering if the modest layoffs Microsoft announced last month were the beginning of a more significant reduction. Wall Street analysts and investors are pressuring companies in every industry to continue cutting costs as sales and profits slow dramatically.

The strategic update call just came to an end. Ballmer gave a detailed look at seven major business areas for the company. Check back here later this morning for more details.

Update, 7:50 a.m.: As he told Congressional Democrats earlier this month, Ballmer said Microsoft's corporate strategists have been evaluating past downturns -- particularly those driven by "deleveraging." The team read company annual reports from 1927 to 1938 to determine who did a good job managing through the Great Depression. "RCA, God rest them in peace, became our role model," Ballmer said. The company was able to dominate the television business because it continued to invest during bad times, he said.

Then he broke down how Microsoft plans to invest.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Apple , Enterprise , Financial , Games & entertainment , Google , Microsoft layoffs , Mobile , Office , Online services , Open source , Search , Server and tools , Steve Ballmer , Strategy , Tech Economy , Windows , Windows 7 , Windows Azure , Windows Mobile , Xbox 360 , Yahoo acquisition , Zune |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 12, 2009 7:28 PM

Microsoft's new Online boss gets 390,422 shares, vesting over 4 years

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Qi Lu, the Yahoo executive lured by Steve Ballmer to head Microsoft's Online Services Group, was awarded 390,422 shares of company stock Wednesday, according to this SEC filing. The shares will vest as follows over the next four years: "20% on January 5, 2010, 20% on January 5, 2011, 20% on January 5, 2012, and 40% on January 5, 2013, subject to continued employment." At Wednesday's closing price of $19.21 a share, the award is worth $7.5 million. Lu owned 200 shares before the award, according to a separate SEC filing.

Comments | Category: Compensation , Employee benefits , Online services , Yahoo |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 9, 2009 10:38 AM

Google licenses Exchange ActiveSync from Microsoft for new mobile service

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

mobile sync logos.JPG Google today launched Google Sync, a service that allows people to easily move and synchronize contacts and calendar items between devices. The company is licensing patents from Microsoft "covering Google's implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol on Google servers," according to a Microsoft statement.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Devices , Google , Mobile , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 29, 2009 5:18 PM

Microsoft has posted 72 job openings in Washington since layoffs announced

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

A week ago, Microsoft announced its first companywide layoff, letting go 1,400 people as part of a plan to cut up to 5,000 jobs in the next 18 months. But the company made clear it would continue hiring, perhaps 2,000 to 3,000 people, in strategically important areas. And judging by its U.S. online jobs site, it intends to. A search of the site for positions in Washington state brought back 72 openings posted since Jan. 22, the day the layoffs were announced.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Coming and going , Google , Halo , MSN , Microsoft layoffs , Mobile , Online services , Recruiting , Search |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 14, 2009 2:07 PM

Speculation swirls on timeline for next version of Microsoft Office; test version of Web apps due this year

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

With documentation and early code going out to select testers this week, another Microsoft guessing game is gaining favor: When will the company ship the next version of Office, known as Office 14?

Earlier guesses had the company aiming for a dual Office-Windows release, as it has in the past. But speculation today points to a 2010 Office release. (Windows 7 is expected by many pundits to ship sometime later this year -- despite Microsoft's official position that January 2010 is the target.)

I had a chance to ask Justin Hutchinson, group product manager for the Office client team, about the schedule for the product last Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Q: Is there any kind of goal to have Office in step with Windows 7 as Microsoft has done in the past?

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Apple , Google , Office , Online services , Strategy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 17, 2008 11:46 AM

Recent comings and goings at Microsoft

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

There has been some turnover in several key positions at Microsoft -- particularly within the company's Online Services Group -- this month. The latest is the departure of Brad Goldberg, general manager of Live Search. Here's a roundup of other recent comings and goings in Redmond:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Coming and going , News roundup , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 4, 2008 1:33 PM

Qi Lu, former Yahoo search exec, appointed president of Microsoft's Online Services business

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


MICROSOFT

Meet the new boss: Former Yahoo Qi Lu to lead Microsoft Online Services Group.

Just announced: "Microsoft Corp. today announced that Dr. Qi Lu will join the company as president of the Online Services Group. Dr. Lu will lead Microsoft's efforts in search and online advertising and all the company's online information and communications services. Dr. Lu will report to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer."

Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of the Microsoft Advertiser and Publisher Solutions group, is leaving the company, Microsoft said in a statement.

Updates throughout at 1:59 p.m.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Coming and going , Online services , Search , Steve Ballmer , Strategy , Yahoo , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 2, 2008 12:47 PM

Microsoft planning more modular data centers

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft is taking a new approach to building the massive data centers that run its growing suite of online services, which are fast becoming central to its business. The company plans to build modular data centers, which use shipping containers preloaded with up to 2,500 server computers that can be built in half the time as conventional data centers.

More details and a video explaining it all after the jump.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Data centers , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

December 1, 2008 1:17 PM

Blockbuster to build on Microsoft's "Live Mesh" -- a refresher on the underlying technology

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Blockbuster is teaming up with Microsoft to eventually "give customers instant access to any movie on any device with an Internet connection and a screen," a Blockbuster exec told The Dallas Morning News. The movie rental giant is one of the first big names to announce plans for Microsoft's "Live Mesh" technology, a part of the company's broader online services platform for developers.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online services , PDC2008 , Video |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 26, 2008 9:44 AM

Microsoft Internet search share stable in October; Fortune scrutinizes online business

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft held stead in October with 8.5 percent of the U.S. Internet search market, according to figures released today by comScore. Its rivals, Google and Yahoo, both gained slightly from their September positions.

Meanwhile, Fortune has taken a stab at answering the question, "Why can't Microsoft make money online?"

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Google , Online services , Search , Yahoo , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 17, 2008 8:57 AM

Microsoft Online opens online Exchange, Sharepoint to businesses of all sizes

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft is continuing its services push today, opening a production version of its hosted e-mail and collaboration software, Exchange and SharePoint, to businesses of all sizes. The software, which runs on servers in Microsoft's huge data centers and is delivered to companies on the Internet, had been in testing since March.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Data centers , Enterprise , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 13, 2008 9:20 AM

Microsoft Windows Live is open to Facebook, MySpace, other social networks

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

One of the big questions to emerge from the news that Microsoft is partnering with dozens of Web services to position Windows Live as a central point for managing people's online lives: Where's Facebook and MySpace, the two dominant social networks?

Here's what Chris Jones, the Microsoft corporate vice president in charge of Windows Live, told me via e-mail last night:

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Facebook , Online Communities , Online services , Windows Live |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 12, 2008 9:00 PM

Full list: Windows Live to integrate feeds from 50 third-party Web services

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft's next iteration of its Windows Live online services suite will alert users any time one of their contacts posts a photo on Flickr, writes a blog on Wordpress or a tweet on Twitter. The company announced tonight the integration of "what's new" feeds, based on RSS, into many of its most popular Web services, such as Windows Live Hotmail, Messenger and a revamped, personalized Windows Live home page and profile page.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online Communities , Online services , Windows Live |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 6, 2008 4:42 PM

Photosynth now available in Microsoft Live Search Maps

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Photosynth, the Microsoft software that arranges photo sets in their real-world, 3-D context and allows people to navigate them smoothly, has been added to the company's Live Search Maps service, as planned.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Graphics and imaging , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 28, 2008 9:00 AM

PDC: Microsoft to sell Office as a Web service, competing with Google Docs

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

LOS ANGELES -- In addition to the online services components of Windows 7, Microsoft is announcing plans to provide online versions of its other highly lucrative products: Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote that will run in a Web browser.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Google , Office , Online services , Strategy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 27, 2008 10:50 PM

PDC: Microsoft's Muglia on profit margins for Windows Azure, opportunities to work with Amazon

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

LOS ANGELES -- Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Microsoft's server and tools business, shared his expectations of the impact Microsoft's new services platform will have on company profit margins, where he sees opportunities for collaboration with Amazon.com -- the company's biggest cloud competitor not named Google -- and more in an interview earlier today.

Check out these edited excerpts of our conversation. I've put the particularly interesting bits in bold for easier scanning.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Financial , Online services , PDC2008 , Server and tools , Strategy , Windows Azure |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 27, 2008 8:45 AM

PDC: Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ozzie announces 'Windows Azure'

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

LOS ANGELES -- Ray Ozzie, the man who replaced Bill Gates as chief software architect at Microsoft, is on stage at one of Microsoft's most important conferences in years. This Professional Developers Conference marks a "turning point" for Microsoft, Ozzie said.

It's the first time the company is able to talk "end to end" about the software plus services platform it has been working on since Ozzie took over three years ago.

Today, the focus is on the back end systems that run everything from enterprises to Web sites to global Internet services.

Ozzie said a team at Microsoft has been working for a few years on a platform for computing in the cloud. The company unveiled a major product of those efforts: "Windows Azure."

Note: I've posted several updates after the jump.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online services , PDC2008 , Windows Azure |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 27, 2008 6:53 AM

PDC: Looking into Microsoft's cloud strategy

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

LOS ANGELES -- Good morning from Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference. While the big headline for the show this week will likely be Windows 7, the company's strategy for cloud computing is a close second. The cloud strategy will get most of the attention today, with a keynote speech from Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, set to begin in about 90 minutes.

For background, check out this story from today's paper, which notes the competition Microsoft faces to attract software developers -- the primary audience at this show -- to its emerging cloud computing platform. Formidable competitors in the form of Amazon, Google and other smaller players are also vying for developer attention.

Comments | Category: Cloud computing , Online services , PDC2008 , Strategy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

October 7, 2008 12:46 PM

PBS video content to appear on Microsoft online game network, Xbox Live

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

File this under strange bedfellows: PBS, the national public broadcasting network, has struck a deal with Microsoft to distribute select content to Microsoft's audience of 12 million-plus gamers on Xbox Live. The deal, announced today, follows higher-profile content partnerships between Xbox Live and Netflix, among others.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Games & entertainment , Online services , Video , Xbox 360 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 27, 2008 7:09 AM

Microsoft helps gamers register to vote, express political preference on Xbox Live

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


Add civic engagement to the ever-growing list of video, gaming and communication offerings on Microsoft's Xbox Live network. As the Democratic National Convention continues this week, the company is ramping up a partnership with Rock the Vote that gives Xbox Live members information about the presidential candidates and help registering to vote.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online services , Public policy & issues , Xbox 360 |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

August 4, 2008 10:43 AM

Windows Live marketing site gets new look, user-generated content

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Following last week's makeover of the Live Search start page, Microsoft today touted a new design and strategy for WindowsLive.com, which touts many of the company's consumer-facing online services such as e-mail and Web storage.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online Communities , Online services , Windows Live |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

July 30, 2008 10:58 AM

Microsoft Translator quietly making progress in machine translation

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

I didn't have space in today's print story to share an update on Microsoft's translation efforts, which have been in the market -- quietly -- for nearly a year. The Microsoft Translator group is somewhat unique in that it's still part of the Microsoft Research team, even though it's a live product. That's also why it was on display at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit yesterday.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online services , Research |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

July 23, 2008 4:04 PM

Microsoft President Kevin Johnson departing

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


Steve Ringman/THE SEATTLE TIMES

Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft's huge Platforms and Services Division, is leaving the company, reportedly to head Juniper Networks. Microsoft is splitting the division into two groups, both of which will report to CEO Steve Ballmer.


The Wall Street Journal just posted a story citing unnamed sources who say Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft's huge Platforms and Services Division, is leaving the company to run Juniper Networks. I've asked Microsoft representatives for confirmation, but have not heard back yet.

Update, 4:25 p.m.: Microsoft just confirmed Johnson's departure and announced a major reorganization of his division.

The Platforms and Services Division, which has more than 14,000 employees and is responsible for Windows, and the company's growing suite of online services -- including Internet search -- will be divided in to two groups, both reporting directly to CEO Steve Ballmer.

Update, 4:33 p.m.: The groups will be Windows/Windows Live and Online Services, according to a company statement.

"Effective immediately, senior vice presidents Steven Sinofsky, Jon DeVaan and Bill Veghte will report directly to Ballmer to lead Windows/Windows Live," the statement continued.

The company will search for a leader to fill a new position atop the Online Services group.

"In the Online Services Business, Microsoft will create a new senior lead position and will conduct a search that will span internal and external candidates. In the meantime, Senior Vice President Satya Nadella will continue to lead Microsoft's search, MSN and ad platform engineering efforts," the company said.

Johnson was one of three Microsoft division presidents. He took over the division in September 2005. Johnson led Microsoft's largest acquisition to date, Seattle-based aQuantive, and would have been in charge of incorporating Yahoo into his division.

According to his Microsoft biography, Johnson has been with the company since 1992, holding positions including group vice president of worldwide sales.

Update, 6:14 p.m.: Ballmer sent an e-mail to employees this afternoon laying out his priorities for the current year and explaining Johnson's departure and the reorganization. Read it here.

Comments | Category: Corporate organization , Online services , Windows Vista |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

July 2, 2008 10:11 AM

Microsoft selling Office on subscription basis for $70 a year

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft in July will begin selling a package of subscription services for consumers and small businesses, including the latest version of its widely used Office suite, previously only available for purchase as a one-time license.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Google , Microsoft , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 21, 2008 10:28 AM

Seattle travel forecasting startup lands at Microsoft as Live Search Farecast, may get cash-back treatment

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

In addition to announcing its Live Search cashback program, Microsoft today is providing details on how it's incorporating Farecast, the Seattle company it acquired for about $115 million in April.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , E-commerce , Microsoft , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 5, 2008 6:08 AM

Yahoo shares begin 20 percent lower; some analysts suspect Microsoft come-back bid

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

In heavy pre-market trading, Yahoo shares fell, as expected, about 20 percent to $23.04 on heavy volume as investors sold off the stock in response to Microsoft withdrawing its acquisition offer.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online services , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

May 1, 2008 12:06 PM

Manager in Microsoft Windows Live jumping to online classifieds startup Oodle

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Kevin Doerr, a Microsoft general manager in Windows Live, is leaving for a San Mateo, Calif., classified advertising startup called Oodle.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Digital media , Microsoft , Online services , Recruiting |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 17, 2008 6:43 PM

Microsoft buying Seattle-based Farecast

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft and Farecast are confirming the acquisition of the Seattle-based airfare prediction and travel site. A person familiar with the transaction said the purchase price was around $115 million.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Online services , Tech Economy |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 11, 2008 8:45 AM

AOL reaches 42% of Russian Internet audience

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

We often focus on the U.S. metrics for Internet search share and Web site traffic. But there's a whole world out there. And in Russia, at least, AOL reaches more of the population than Google, Yahoo or Microsoft.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Online Communities , Online services , Search |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

April 11, 2008 8:13 AM

Microsoft wants 'self-regulation' of consumer privacy in online advertising

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

In the midst of the maelstrom of online deals rumored to be in the works, Microsoft proposed a major plan for companies to self-regulate consumer privacy practices.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Advertising , Corporate governance , Legal issues , Online Communities , Online services , Public policy & issues , Security & privacy , Yahoo acquisition |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 25, 2008 9:32 AM

Microsoft, Yahoo make moves toward open social networks

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Yahoo announced it's joining with Google and MySpace to form a foundation backing "the sustainable and open development of the OpenSocial initiative and related intellectual property." Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that it's working with five social networks, including Facebook, to allow users to easily move their contacts between the networks and Windows Live.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Microsoft , Online Communities , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 19, 2008 10:54 AM

Adobe CEO 'committed' to Flash for iPhone; touts benefits over Microsoft Silverlight

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano


Adobe CEO Narayen.

Two weeks after Apple CEO Steve Jobs made waves by saying Adobe's widely used Flash multimedia technology wasn't up to snuff for the iPhone, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said Tuesday his company is "committed" to developing a Flash Player for the device.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Adobe , Apple , Microsoft , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 26, 2008 3:06 PM

Microsoft says Windows Live outage issue is resolved for all customers

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft has just resolved today's widespread outage of its online services, Windows Live.

Here's a statement from the company, attributed to Samantha McManus, Windows Live product manager:

"Earlier today, an issue began that has caused some consumers worldwide to experience difficulty logging in to their Windows Live ID accounts. This issue has since been resolved and normal operations have been restored to all customers.

"The issue purely impacted the log-in process for customers and largely did not impact customers who were already logged in. Microsoft working quickly and aggressively to resolve the issue. Our customers have come to expect a high level of service reliability in their experience with Windows Live and we apologize for any inconvenience this particular issue has caused consumers.

"Microsoft customers experienced issues accessing various services that rely on Windows Live ID for authentication including Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger and Xbox Live. We worked to identify the issue and have restored full normal operation to all of our customers. We do not have a specific number [of customers impacted] to share at this time. There is no danger of data loss or data compromise. It is important to note that the security and privacy of our customers was at no time compromised as a result of this issue."

I've asked for details on the number of users affected and what caused the Live ID system to go down. I'll post them if I get them.

Comments | Category: Microsoft , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 26, 2008 12:17 PM

I can't access Hotmail either

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

As reported in the usual places this morning, Microsoft is experiencing a widespread outage of at least one of its major online services, including Windows Live Hotmail. It looked like the West Coast wasn't suffering from it early this morning, but that has since changed. I've been unable to access Hotmail for the past four hours.

Microsoft has issued a statement saying it is investigating the problem, will fix it ASAP and is sorry for anyone put out by the outage.

I was reading Ina Fried's interview with Microsoft Server and Tools chief Bob Muglia just before checking my Hotmail again and was interested to see that Microsoft is using the forthcoming Windows Server 2008 internally for "a good part of the Windows Live servers." As Mary Jo Foley notes, an unfortunate coincidence. But let's wait and see what Microsoft says is the cause of the outage. It could be any number of things, right?

Update, 12:45 p.m.: A bit more on the scope of the outage. The AP is confirming that it's international in scope and that other services that require a Live ID to log in, such as the Xbox Live video game network, aren't working either.

Update, 1:40 p.m.: Hotmail is working again for me and seems pretty snappy.

Update, 3:30 p.m.: Everything's hunky dory now. Check out this post for Microsoft's all-clear statement, which has a bit of additional detail on what happened.

Comments | Category: Microsoft , Online services |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

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