Hotmail, Windows Live back online, Microsoft says

Outage of services, including Hotmail, blamed on Windows Live ID log-in process

Microsoft late Tuesday said it has cleared up what was a daylong and that all users have access again to Windows Live services that include Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive and Photo Gallery.

The company was blaming an issue that was affecting the log-in process via Windows Live ID, which provides single click access to all the accounts a user has on Windows Live.

At about 3:15 p.m. PST, Microsoft's Samantha McManus, Windows Live product manager, issued a statement: "Earlier today, an issue began that has caused some consumers worldwide to experience difficulty logging in to their Windows Live ID accounts. This issue has since been resolved and normal operations have been restored to all customers."

She offered no details on the issue.

Microsoft is using its consumer services to showcase its software plus services initiative aimed at corporate users.

In addition, CNet reported in an interview with Bob Muglia that Windows Live was being mostly run on Windows Server 2008.

Earlier in the day, users from the U.S. and Europe had been reporting that Hotmail and other services were down.

Windows Live consists of 10 services, the most widely used being Hotmail.

Earlier in the day, McManus issued a statement tagging the issue to Windows Live ID and said the company was making progress to resolve the problem.

Windows Live ID is based on Microsoft's Passport technology and is a testing ground for its new user-centric InfoCard technology that shipped with Vista.

Many reported seeing the error message: "Server too busy. We are experiencing higher than normal volume and are therefore unable to service your request at this time."

Some speculated Microsoft's online properties, which are part of its efforts to add online services to go along with its shrink-wrapped software, were suffering from a denial-of-service attack.

Microsoft is not the only high-profile provider to suffer an outage, Google's YouTube suffered from access issues on Sunday.

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John Fontana

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