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back to article Outages plague Hotmail and Outlook users

Microsoft's spanking new Outlook.com and creaking Hotmail service are experiencing prolonged outages around the world. Hotmail and Outlook.com users are complaining they are either unable to access email or unable to see all their email messages. The problem seems to have initially affected cloud storage service SkyDrive, too, …

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Mushroom

I actually thought about moving

The interface for outlook is so clean and nice. I thought about migrating to outlook when it first launched. I eventually stayed because I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle. Apparently it was a decent call to say. Cant say I have had any trouble at camp google with my mail ever.

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Re: I actually thought about moving

"The interface for outlook is so clean and nice. "

It's only a GUI. It's hotmail with a new dress, fresh from the hair salon. They still vary the location of the Delete 'button' depending on which folder you're in - ha!

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LDS
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Re: I actually thought about moving

It's so clean and nice I'm actually thinking of resurrecting my green phosphor monochrome monitor to use it... it's all you need with today web interfaces. I'm against those using every 24 bit color in a single interface, but we are now at opposite side, just two colors and lack of many hints - i.e. red anyway hints at a command that can bring to data loss, and so on....

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Re: I actually thought about moving

They put the sensible things on the right button (In the web interrface).

And they support exchange activeysync.

I cannot use the normal gmail web interface now remotely efficiently.

(The Android apps are a little better but I think the Microsoft Apps work more conveniently even on Android. (They are designed to work logical not look nice).

Lost activesync for Google which is very annoying. (Thought the whole point of using a Microsoft Account to login to Windows was to stop that sort of nonsense).

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Anonymous Coward

And still the sheep continue to entrust prized data to these people.

When will they learn?

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With Activesync stopping on the google services in the near future I have moved everything across to Microsoft and happy with it.

At least I know Activesync won't disappear.

Oh BTW Microsoft update the Hotmail calendar with the new look k thanks

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FAIL

BUt don't worry about it

Because it's "in the cloud" that means NO OUTAGES EVER, right? This is just some minor behind-the-scenes issue that won't ever affect an end user because of SUPER CLOUD MAGIC!

Or something...

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Coat

Just for balance, I joined Outlook.com as soon as it launched and switching my current email address to Outlook.com was an absolute doddle, I could also set up mail.mydomain.com to point to Outlook.com with a further few steps.

The user experience is great, lovely interface, and I didn't experience any outage.

*shrug*

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@ Michael C

Snap. Took out a couple of addresses on Outlook.com and use it for my older Gmail and Hotmail addresses. Haven't looked back in all honesty.

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Anonymous Coward

"I didn't experience any outage"

That's OK then, I'll let Microsoft know the problem's solved.

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LDS
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FAIL

Just try to use a password longer than 15 characters... it won't allow you.

It's funny a new service limits the length of the password. I tried to use a password longer than 15 character and it does not accept it.

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Re: Just try to use a password longer than 15 characters... it won't allow you.

The limit is 16 characters, actually. The password I tried using for my account is 17 characters long. It accepted it when I set it. I just have to truncate it to 16 characters when signing in now.

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And yet the scroogled page is up, it is clear they have they priorities in order.

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Anonymous Coward

However

The Microshafted pages are down

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Allow me to be the first to do a tedious: It's all working fine for me, a la any reporting of an outage for Google or Apple et al.

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Anonymous Coward

Any coicidence here that yesterday was patch tuesday

Ah the fun and games of patching Windows Server, give me a 'nix system to patch.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Any coicidence here that yesterday was patch tuesday

Because patches to *nix systems never fuck up, right?

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Pint

Re: Any coicidence here that yesterday was patch tuesday

If there is any justice in the world; I so hope you are right!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Any coicidence here that yesterday was patch tuesday

"Because patches to *nix systems never fuck up, right?"

No because you get all your patches from one place and you don't have to reboot the fucker 10 million times just to update notepad !

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Re: Any coicidence here that yesterday was patch tuesday

Not much of the time in the real world.

I would say none RHEL Linux (SLES is probably alright as well but I haven't used it) is patched in such a way that it breaks stuff far too often.

Windows gets broken by the actions of Microsoft far less often.

Patching AIX and Solaris 10 is pretty annoying. But it won't break if you can read and follow instructions.

Freebsd when you are using something that is no longer supported (So you have to backport security fixes yourself and make sure they work) is fun but it is definitely not easy. (If you are managing stuff still using Freebsd 2/3/4 then you will know what I mean).

Dealing with a fancy modern Linux that is past its 6 month EOL or whatever and doing the same thing would be even harder but I don't think people using such things do. (Maybe I am wrong I dunno).

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Mushroom

Re: Any coicidence here that yesterday was patch tuesday

I've had several Debian boxes go bat-shit crazy on me when its APT/aptitude got all confused.

Still, easy enough to fix, provided its not nuked the NIC or you've still got some other remote access.

So, its not impossibru, but I still reckon a 1-2% failure rate.

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no..

*nix systems are just easier to fix when when they do.

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Flame

"a vision for modern email."

I had 2 email addresses with Hotmail (one semi-professional and one for the rest), one of which has been transferred to Outlook.com (not by choice, It changed on me automatically!), and I have to say that if Outlook.com is "a vision for modern email" then who ever had that vision must have been on one hell of a bad trip! (probably balled up in the corner, sucking their thumb, crying and hoping it would all go away soon).

I havent noticed any changes in functionailty which would make me want to change the other account over to Outlook.com and the GUI is just awful... Anyone know how I can change from outlook.com back to hotmail?

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Re: "a vision for modern email."

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/outlook/switch-back-hotmail

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Thumb Down

Re: "a vision for modern email."

Great link - it tells you that you can't switch back.

Time to move to Google just to escape the shit-faced MS GUI disaster.

Phil.

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Mushroom

Re: "a vision for modern email."

Mover back to Hotmail? I hope this is some kind of sick joke?

Hotmail is horrendous. period.

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FAIL

Stop moaning it's free

Why to people moan when the service a company is giving them for free goes down for a bit. If you want something more reliable then go and pay for it.

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Headmaster

Re: Stop moaning it's free

It's a service. Even if it is a free service, even if there is no SLA and no guarantee of service, it is still something that the company is offering that is supposed to be useful.

The fact that the service is not available is a valid cause for complaint, even if the service is free. The only thing that users cannot ask for is compensation for lost time or messages. But they are perfectly entitled and justified to complain about the service not being available.

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Re: Stop moaning it's free

Because their competitors also offer a free service that doesn't go down nearly as often?

Been a Hotmail user since pre-2000 (no idea how far before that, but definitely before that). Was a GMail user within minutes of them offering the service and forwarded all my accounts and not looked back. Still technically have a Hotmail account but never use it - they break the interface in Opera about once a year or more (usually by some duff CSS that tries to "detect" old Opera and cut stuff out, but just breaks new Opera versions) and take a month or two to fix it, their support is atrocious, and they have will only suggest to use IE to browse the site - I just keep it for the other Live account services (Messenger - which I'm being forced onto Skype from, and some games force you to have Live, etc.).

They are trying hard to shove me onto Outlook.com, which I don't want, and for years they played games with people who wanted to use POP3/IMAP to access their inboxes (still might, as far as I know). GMail offer a better service, for the same price, and I haven't had an outage there yet (not saying there have been none, but none that I've noticed), and they don't try to shove me between projects all the time for no reason. And their UI doesn't break, they don't change it on a whim every six months, and even when they do I have enough control to get rid of the junk and/or just suck the mail into my own mail reader.

At one time I was paying for Hotmail Plus or whatever it was called. I ended up cancelling it before GMail even existed because I just wasn't getting enough for my money compared to other companies offering the same services.

And now I do most of my own email in-house, and don't have problems. Downtime is rarer than anything I've used commercially and I can still suck in my GMail if need be. Haven't bothered looking into sucking in my Hotmail as the junk mail filter on it is atrocious and a 13+ year-old account is still being spammed by people with hundreds of consecutive usernames in the To: field and Hotmail just let it through all the time.

Free is a price. Value for money is defined by perceived value of services divided by price. The maths breaks on zero, but assuming an infinitesimally small number is very close to zero and substituting, that still means that GMail and even my own hosting on servers I already have can offer better value for money than Hotmail.

A dog turd can be free. It doesn't mean I wouldn't rather have a free three-course banquet.

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Re: Stop moaning it's free

"Why to people moan when the service a company is giving them for free goes down for a bit. If you want something more reliable then go and pay for it."

Very, very faulty reasoning.

The company is making money out of me somehow, even if my eyeballs are the product it is selling to its real customers, the advertising industry. Whether I pay directly or indirectly I am part of the revenue stream, and I have every right to bitch about things to try and get them to fix them, or decide to take myself elsewhere and be part of someone else's revenue stream.

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Re: Stop moaning it's free

i started running my own mail server - very educational and at least I know who's reading my mail :-)

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Anonymous Coward

It might be free to YOU

But the idiot CIO at the multinational corporation where I work paid what I am sure is a shitload of money to Microsoft to replace our enterprise Exchange systems with Outlook 365 -- which is *also* down. Yes, Hotmail may be "fine" as a free mail service. But it's a *long* way from enterprise quality.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stop moaning it's free

"I have every right to bitch about things to try and get them to fix them"

Yes, you do, but because you don't have a contract or SLA with them so they have every right to ignore you and do what they like.

The issue here is people who are depending on free e-mail services for their income and/or critical communications. Every provider has outages at some point; if that's going to cost you money, use a service with an SLA that meets your needs.

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Roo
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Re: Stop moaning it's free

OK, I'll moan and I am entitled to because I paid for MS Hotmail (shocking, I know).

Many moons ago I was happily accessing my Hotmail account using POP3. Then one day Microsoft decided to stop supporting POP3, this bugged me so I asked their support people if there was anyway I could get POP3 and they said pay up on the understanding that they would not commit to maintaining POP3 in the future.

I paid my dues and everything was fine, they kept POP3 running (bless em) and all was well until a skiddie decided to brute force my password. Now Microsoft, bless them, think that 3 wrong guesses and lock out makes for a secure account, it doesn't, it just makes DoSing an account trivial. After a few weeks of enduring the long winded process of resetting my password every time I wanted to read my email I contacted customer support (repeatedly) and had absolutely zero response. Nada. Nothing.

Hopefully MS has made DoSing their accounts a bit harder, but I doubt it and quite frankly I'm not going to bother finding out, just as they didn't bother to reply to my emails to their customer support numpties.

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Stop

Re: Stop moaning it's free

"Yes, you do, but because you don't have a contract or SLA with them so they have every right to ignore you and do what they like."

Indeed, and if they do that they'll lose even more people to their competition.

It's in their interest to provide a good service, it's in my interest to moan about it or criticise them, it's in the public interest to know consumer opinions on services.... so why the hell do people say "top complaining it's free" ?

That's the only worthless part of the conversation AFAICT.

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Re: Stop moaning it's free

I'm sure the pigs rave about how the food and accomodation in the barn is free too.

There's _always_ a cost, somewhere.

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Re: It might be free to YOU

Total cost of shifting $orkplace from inhouse mailservers to "Free" hosting at MS - £3.5 million and counting.

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Anonymous Coward

If you want the job done right....

...DO IT YOURSELF!

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Anonymous Coward

As per usual, my accounts are working fine!

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It's Microsoft's 'push the self destruct button' week. On Friday they switch of MSN Messenger.......

Popcorn is ready!

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Pint

Bugger the popcorn - where's the beer for the fireworks show? ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Will be a sad day when they turn off MSN, Skype is pants for text IM. Why it defaults to search your contacts rather than the chat area when you click on it, I will never know.

I admittedly only use MSN to speak to a few people, but I'll likely find something other than Skype to do so.

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FAIL

Ah, that'll probably bring Twitter down with all the cried of "WTF Has happened to my Messenger?!"..

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It WAS going to be Friday, but at least in the US, the MSN Messenger switch off has been delayed by another three weeks.

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Anonymous Coward

Hotmail users have always been idiots

Back in the day when you had the choice of an email account, with netscape.net you got IMAP and 3Mb email messages, 5Mb mailboxes. At that time, hotmail offered no IMAP but some crappy outlook express integration and only 1 mb mail messages with 2mb max mailbox size.

Hotmail users cannot count, tech CV's with hotmail email addresses used to be discarded immediately where I worked, back then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hotmail users have always been idiots

Now I'm tempted to switch to @hotmail.com so I don't accidentally land a job at a company as stuck up as that.

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Paris Hilton

Not affected

This must only affect a few cos my outlook.com & hotmail.co.uk haven't had any issues.

My Gmail account fails nearly every week on me, I only keep it for my android phone now.

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hotmail/outlook.com works fine to me

It is ridiculous how this web page is anti-microsoft.

I don't recall this amount of fuss when gmail was gown several times last year. And it should be like that. This things happens. No need for tears.

I did not experience any issues with my hotmail/outlook today. I bet you I am not the only one.

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@RT tablet Re: hotmail/outlook.com works fine to me

Does your owner/user know that you're posting comments on web sites?

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Facepalm

Re: hotmail/outlook.com works fine to me

I'm one of the three people who really likes Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. That out of the way I would like to add that this site isn't anti-Microsoft any more than it's anti-Apple, anti-Google, anti-Blackberry etc... Stop taking it so seriously. Corps don't need you to stick up for them.

I haven't had any issues with outlook this time either (though there was an issue a few weeks back that I got stung by). Microsoft ballsed up and people should know they did.

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