Microsoft said that Windows Live users are back online after a problem with Windows Live ID caused a severe outage for Microsoft Live services in many parts of the world Tuesday.
Many users of Microsoft Windows Live services, particularly Live Hotmail and Live Messenger, suddenly discovered to their dismay Tuesday that they could no longer access those services. The problems extended to users around the world.
Microsoft officials acknowledged they experienced a service outage, but in the mid-afternoon Pacific time, said most users were back online, and attributed the problems to a glitch with the company's Live ID service – which is used to authenticate Live services users.
"Earlier today, an issue began that has caused some consumers worldwide to experience difficulty logging in to their Windows Live ID accounts," Samantha McManus, Windows Live product manager, said in a statement e-mailed to "This issue has since been resolved and normal operations have been restored to all customers," the statement continued. The company apologized to users for the inconvenience.
Initial reports appeared to limit the outages to the U.S., but the afternoon, reports on user forums and blog comment logs showed that users all over the globe appeared to be having difficulties accessing the services.
Among users in nations reporting the outage on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Microsoft blogger Todd Bishop's comments log were Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Japan, the Netherlands, and the UK. Reports on Bishop's blog and others also appeared to indicate that the outage impacted most parts of the U.S., including Alaska and even Microsoft's home turf in the Seattle area.
Although it's unknown how many users were affected, Microsoft claims to have more than 400 million Live ID users worldwide – and 280 million Live Hotmail users.