Microsoft fixes Hotmail, Outlook.com glitches that caused outage

The SkyDrive cloud storage and file-sharing service was also affected

Microsoft has fixed a problem that caused an outage for many users of Hotmail and the service that is replacing it, Outlook.com. Maintenance work continued to affect the calendaring component of Hotmail, however.

Microsoft acknowledged the email problem Tuesday afternoon and declared it fixed on Wednesday morning, about 13 hours later, according to a site that monitors the status of its services.

Its SkyDrive storage and file-sharing service also had problems for several hours, affecting people's ability to add, edit and remove files, or publish content with Windows Photo Gallery. That too is now fixed, Microsoft says.

As of 3 p.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, issues persisted with Hotmail's Calendar component, which is apparently undergoing its third straight day of maintenance. The issues can slow down the viewing and editing of calendars and trigger error messages. Users may also experience delays when syncing mail, contacts and calendar entries to their mail applications or phones, according to a status update.

A Microsoft spokeswoman acknowledged the Outlook.com and Hotmail outages and said the company apologizes for the trouble.

Microsoft didn't say how many people were affected, but the status site only lists problems that affect a "large number of customers."

Outlook.com made its debut in preview mode last July, when Microsoft described it as a reinvention of Hotmail and of competing webmail services like Google's Gmail and Yahoo Mail.

Last month, Microsoft removed the "preview" tag from Outlook.com, and said anyone interested could get an account or migrate from Hotmail. The company expects to have all Hotmail users moved to Outlook.com by the summer.

Compared to Hotmail, Outlook.com has a redesigned user interface, broad syncing capabilities, improved message sorting and native integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and other sites, according to Microsoft.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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