back to article Microsoft confesses to New Year Hotmail blunders

Microsoft's Hotmail saw the New Year in with a whimper, after thousands of its users were unable to access their web-based email accounts. Yesterday the company explained what went wrong, offered a relatively minor apology given the scale of the cockup, and said it would endeavor to prevent similar mistakes in the future. …


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  1. Bilgepipe


    So test accounts are kept on the live server?

    I thought Microsoft was "full of really talented people," not rank amateurs.

    1. Anthony Shortland
      Thumb Down

      maybe not best practice

      but I'm pretty sure most networks/services have test accounts on live servers.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Not unreasonable...

      Why shouldn't test accounts be kept on live servers? It doesn't preclude having a separate test system, but it makes sense that there be accounts which can be used to test a production service.

      1. kirovs


        Test accounts to monitor performance, yes. You don't delete those. It looks more like accounts they used to tune the system while live. And it seems they had a lot if they needed to batch remove them. Bad, very bad. It was pure luck only ~18K users were impacted.

    3. Tom 13

      Some test accounts are always kept on a live server.

      They are useful for checking things when users call to report problems. What's not usually done is deleting them with a script.

    4. BillG Silver badge

      Hotmail is NOTmail

      Microsoft is "full of really talented people". It's just that none of those talented people work on Microsoft NOTmail.

      I think that we already know that Microsoft NOTmail isn't managed by Engineers - it's managed by public relations people.

      Hotmail can't get any worse - can it?

      1. asdf Silver badge

        back in the day

        Originally Hotmail was quite reliable as it was run on a *nix backend. Windows does seem to be able to handle many backend task fairly well but email server is not one of them (Exchange for example, is such garbage).

    5. will42

      Test on Live

      Er, how can you be sure the live service is still doing what it did when it was in testing if you don't have test accounts. You'd be an idiot to test everything, release it to a live environment and just assume everything will be peachy

    6. asdf Silver badge


      No M$ is full of fresh out of college cheap hacks it can feed its magically koolaid and brainwash before best practices in the real world spoil the illusion.

  2. Tom 13

    Critics? Don't you mean


    1. asdf Silver badge

      stupid id10t errors

      (L)users can get annoying but in this case its all M$.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Microsoft..... Hotmail.

    I gave up on hotmail when they increased their attachment // or inbox size from 1 Meg up to 2 Meg, when Google and Yahpoo were dragging theirs up to 20 Meg.... and a few thousand megabyte of storage space.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    I thought MS was supposed

    to have finally got with the cloud computing program - this is going to do their prospects a lot of good.

  5. SilverWave

    MS and the Cloud.

    Just Saying

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Matthew 3

      RE: Scripting problems → #

      Hmm, you're quite a bit out of date.

      Maybe, ten years ago, you'd have had a point. But Powershell has been around for some time now and if you've installed the bare-bones version of Windows server (without a GUI) the ONLY way you can manage it is via scripting. And very effective it is too!

      I'm the first to admit it's taken them far too long to get there but if you're going to criticise at least check if your opinion is still applicable before ranting.

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  8. copsewood

    Hotmail users are not customers

    Hotmail users get what they should expect based upon what they pay for it. Why should Microsoft treat Hotmail users with any respect ? To the extent the commercial logic of this facility suggests Microsoft should give any Hotmail stakeholder respect, they should care about their customers i.e. those who pay the bills in exchange for being served the attention and (barely) anonymised personal data of the users.

    Hotmail's users are the commodity being sold to their customers.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    New Years??? I have not been able to get into my acount since July 2010. I get the sqiggly letters to dicifer and do but it will not let me in, so then I go to change my password. My secret question is not my question and the email that my password gose to I dont have. recently (since 9/2010) I get a email eveeryonce in while giving me a pin and to go to the 'priviteforum'. Ever try to find the 'privite forum'?

    I am ready to go to 'wikileaks' and see what they can do!!!!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We already knew...

    We didn't need Microsucks to admit what we already knew - that they are incompetent, bumbling idiots.

  11. doperative

    Linux broke my Aspire One

    I was told that what caused my Aspire One portable to keep hanging during boot-up was a faulty power supply .. – the culprit was the software .. Acer shipped the Acer Aspire One with a version of the Linpus Lite Linux OS .. there’s no denying that Redmond knows how to develop and maintain reliable software – mostly – that you can trust.

  12. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    "on the software vendor's increasingly tarnished Hotmail service."

    It's so bad, i've moved to Gmail and it's much better =]

    It loads faster, is more customizable, doesn't crash nearly half as much as Hotmail, can sync with my phone better and is generally enjoyable to use, whereas Hotmail has become a chore.

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