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Microsoft Windows Live Services Suffer Global Outage

Microsoft is investigating a possible outage affecting users of its Windows Live Hotmail, Messenger, and Skydrive services.

But the service outage could actually be much more widespread: If posters on forum are to be believed, the outage is not only affecting customers nationwide, but also throughout the world.

A Microsoft spokesperson said the vendor is aware that some customers may be experiencing difficulty accessing their Windows Live accounts.

"We're actively investigating the cause and are working to take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation as rapidly as possible. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience and disruption this may be causing our customers," the spokesperson said in an email to ChannelWeb.

Microsoft has been actively pushing its 'software + services vision, in which client software and in-the-cloud services interact with each other to enhance the computing experience.

Mark Crall, president of Charlotte Tech Care Team, a Microsoft Small Business Specialist in Charlotte, N.C., doesn't have a lot of customers using Live, and says the outage probably won't do much to reassure those who've been hesitant to place their trust in cloud services.

"It comes down to delivering reasonable expectations. When you put something in the cloud, there are still many additional points of failure for services, and you have to be cognizant of that," said Crall. "If I was in Microsoft's shoes, I wouldn't sell Live services as more reliable, but as more versatile."

Several posters on the MSDN Channel 9 forums vented their frustrations at being unable to access the services. "Downtime is completely unacceptable, there should be load-balancing, multiple servers in clusters in server farms spread all over the world," wrote one poster.

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