Hotmail outages continue

And users lose important email messages

No matter if it had been under denial of service attack or it had to struggle with a 'data center' issue, Hotmail went through a very uncomfortable time lately, receiving so many complaints from users unable to access their accounts.

Although Microsoft representatives claimed the latest outages to be an "isolated issue that they've located in the data center", problems continue to arise for Hotmail subscribers in spite of the history Microsoft has had in March of last year, when MSN suffered a couple of outages over a weeklong period.

Some speculated that one of the blackouts was caused by sign-in problems from its Passport service.

A faulty server is apparently the root of the most recent problem, according to a Microsoft customer service representative who confirmed the outage on Wednesday.

The representative declined to immediately discuss the nature of the problem, when it began, or how many of Hotmail's 187 million users are affected.

The outage has caused intermittent access to Hotmail accounts for some consumers over the last couple of weeks and, more alarmingly, appears to have erased new and saved messages from in-boxes, according to several people who sent reports to major US news sites.

Paying customers have been especially disturbed by the outages, and these problems should have Microsoft worried, especially with very strong competition going on from Google and Yahoo webmail services.

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