Many MSN Messenger and Hotmail users, as well as some MSN Internet Access customers, were unable to connect to these services for about eight hours on Friday because of internal technical problems at Microsoft.
Microsoft started receiving reports or problems with its instant messaging, web based e-mail and dial-up Iiternet services at about 8.30am Pacific Time on Friday. The issue was identified at around 3pm and solved an hour and a half later.
Microsoft is not releasing details of the cause of the outage. "It was a completely internal issue," the spokeswoman said, adding that the problem had nothing to do with hackers or the security patch for MSN Messenger that Microsoft released last week.
Service complaints came mostly from the US and Canada, but users outside North America may also have been affected. Users who were already connected to the services were, for the most part, able to continue using them as the issue primarily affected new log-ons.
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service