Microsoft restores Xbox Live service

Users will now be able to log on to Xbox Live

Microsoft has fully restored its Xbox Live service after problems prevented an undetermined number of users from logging into the online gaming service.

At 4:28 p.m. Eastern Time, Microsoft's Xbox support team posted a message on Twitter that read "Xbox Live should be back up and running. Thank you for your patience. Game on!"

Microsoft first informed users about the problems via Twitter at 11:20 a.m. ET. The service issues prevented some users from logging into Xbox Live from their Xbox console and from the Xbox website.

Users also had difficulties accessing Zune.net, where they can buy music and movies for smartphones, PCs and tablets. The Zune service is also running normally again, according to a status update page for Xbox Live.

Microsoft didn't explain why Xbox Live had gone down and declined to comment on the number of users affected. "Our engineering teams worked quickly to fix the problem and the service is online and fully operational," a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email.

Xbox Live had about 40 million members as of January, and the service is offered in 35 countries. Microsoft entered the console market with the Xbox in 2001, and introduced the Xbox 360 in 2005.

The Xbox competes with the Nintendo Wii and Sony's PlayStation -- which has also had downtime issues. Sony's PlayStation Network was hacked and portions of the service went down for nearly a month, and personal information of more than 77 million users was compromised during the incident.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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