Hotmail hitch blocks e-mail accounts

Microsoft is struggling to fix an intermittent Hotmail network outage that is stopping users accessing their e-mail accounts.

Microsoft is struggling to fix an intermittent Hotmail network outage that is stopping users accessing their e-mail accounts.

The stoppage is affecting both users of free standard Hotmail accounts and those who have paid for extra e-mail storage.

Microsoft has not said how many of its 185 million Hotmail users are affected by the problem.

The outage is a blow to Microsoft as it comes in the middle of a major advertising campaign to promote the company's new MSN Search engine.

Hotmail users, who access their messages through the MSN service, are a key potential traffic and cash generator for MSN Search, as well as for standard web advertising.

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