Shortly after 4:00pm EDT on March 12 some Hotmail users took to Twitter, reporting they couldn’t access their mail. Microsoft responded at 5:35pm confirming the service outage and stating that they were working on restoring the service. Well, it’s been over 12 hours since then, and Microsoft’s email services are still down for some.
The outage also hit SkyDrive and Calendar, but those have since been restored according to the Microsoft’s service status page.
We originally speculated that the outage could be part of the Hotmail to Outlook migration, but Microsoft’s official statement (or status page) doesn’t dismiss this outage as a simple service transfer. As Drew stated yesterday as the outage hit three hours, any downtime is unacceptable, and this outage is even more onerous now that it has continued through the night.
Thankfully it’s not a total system blackout. Some users can still access their Hotmail and Outlook accounts. Still, for those who cannot, the end is not in sight. Microsoft notes on Hotmail and Outlook’s status page that they’ll provide a service update at 9:12AM EDT.
Any outage is bad for business, but this one is especially poorly timed. Microsoft is currently running a massive marketing campaign for Outlook.com. They say there’s no such thing as bad press, but reports about a widespread service outage will certainly not help business.