Several of Microsoft’s services experienced outages recently. Users trying to access Hotmail, Outlook.com and SkyDrive saw error messages reporting that something was wrong with them. Microsoft was quick to react to the situation and worked on repairing the glitches which caused the outage in the first place. They were able to rectify the issue and restore the services. However, the calendar on Hotmail was still not up to optimum function while the maintenance was being carried out.
The problem originally came to the fore last Tuesday. Microsoft reported that it had taken note of the problem and was working towards repairing it by afternoon the same day. The problem was finally fixed and the services restored on Wednesday, some 13 hours after the issue was first discovered. During that period, people who wanted to access their email by either Hotmail or Outlook.com were unable to do so. Microsoft has officially apologized for the outage and any inconvenience caused as a result.
Around the same time, a problem also surfaced with SkyDrive. Microsoft’s online file storage platform also went out of service for a few hours. Users were unable to upload any new files or retrieve any files they had previously uploaded to it. Due to this, they weren’t able to get access to Windows Photo Gallery and publish pictures. Microsoft recognized the problem quickly and repaired the glitches which were causing the problem.
The Hotmail users had to wait another day before they could use the Calendar feature on the email service. The users had trouble navigating around the calendar and viewing and editing the dates they had saved there. In some cases, error messages kept popping up on the screen and made it impossible for the people to use it. It took three consecutive days of repair and maintenance to correct the problem and get the calendar back in working order.
There has been no official word from the company on how many users were affected by the outages. However, the mere fact that the problem was listed on the status site means that a large number of users were affected. The status site is a website dedicated to keeping track of Microsoft’s various services. Only problems and outages which affect a considerable percentage of their users are reported on the status site.
This could prove to be bad news for Microsoft in the long run as the company tries to push people towards adopting Outlook.com as their main email account. Already, Microsoft has begun offering Hotmail users the option to upgrade to Outlook.com. In a few months’ time, their accounts would be automatically transferred to Outlook.com whether they opt for it or not. Experiencing an outage in both Hotmail and Outlook.com means there could be some underlying problems for the email services.
The new and upgraded Outlook.com is no longer in preview mode. The outage could have people thinking twice about using it. The fact that Microsoft rectified the problem so quickly can help limit the damage caused by the outage.