Just after noon ET today, hundreds of users began noticing problems logging in to Hotmail and other related services using Microsoft’s Windows Live ID. Thanks to the flood of user reports, downrightnow quickly publicized the outage at 12:15pm ET:
Microsoft finally acknowledged the issue nearly 3 hours later and announced that the problem should be resolved. We’ve continued to see sporadic user complaints throughout the day, so be sure to file a report if you’re still experiencing trouble and stay tuned to our Hotmail status page for the latest information.
Update: MSNBC (fittingly) offers additional details about the disruption:
Some users were seeing this message when they tried to log into their accounts: “We are experiencing higher than normal volume and are therefore unable to service your request at this time” and are told to try clicking “refresh” in the Web browser, clicking on a “back” arrow and trying again, or “wait a few minutes and try again.” None of those options seemed to be working.
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downrightnow monitors the status of your favorite web services, combining user reports and official announcements to tell you when there's service trouble.