back to article Steve Ballmer lies to my mother

Steve Ballmer isn't above lying to my mother. Early Tuesday morning, California time, word arrived from Reg readers on both sides of the Atlantic that Hotmail and other Windows Live/MSN services, including Windows Live Messenger, were on the fritz. And within a few hours, it was clear that the outage hit users across the globe …


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  1. Rich Turner
    Paris Hilton

    Try clearing your cookies

    You may have a few poisoned cookies from MSN/Live/other LiveID authenticated sites. They'll timeout eventually, but clearing them out manually may well resolve your issues.

    Paris because she clearly cleared out her cookies. Allegedly!

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Matt
    Paris Hilton

    Damn Hotmail MSN Live thingy-ma-jig.

    I was expecting an email from a nice nigerian lady trying to get her £250,000 inheritance from her dead uncle. If I don't get back to her tonight with my name and address details I'll probably lose my 25% cut. Grrrr. Damn Microsoft.

  4. Michael Martin

    It may depend on the ISP

    I'm using Qwest (unfortunately) and am still unable to access either Hotmail or Yahoo. However, my fiancee's parents are on Centurytel and seem to be having no issues. My workplace as well, which goes through Electric Lightwave, can access both.

  5. Scott Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Indexed? So what?

    No form of web-based email can be considered secure so whether it is indexed or not is not a relevant point. What is important is whether it is actually useful.

    Gmail gives me storage and functionality. Hotmail gives me some useful newsletters from MS and some interesting adverts for financial things, enhancements and other medical matters...

    Like many people, I have accounts on both. I make more actual use of Gmail though. It works better with Firefox too.

    I wonder what Paris uses for her mailbox?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I did business with him many, many years ago.

    Let's just say that if I ever shake his hand again, I'll count my fingers.

  7. Guy

    Working for me

    I hate to say it, but I just logged into my (very) old account and it's working for me (1923 Unread messages, I'm sure that's not the most someones seen, but I was impressed)

  8. James Whale

    I can't believe anyone still uses Hotmail anyway

    Like many Microsoft miscreants, it's slow, bloated, and overly-tarted up at the expense of efficiency. I left for GMail's faster, cleaner, more capacious pastures years ago and I've not once looked back.

    Hotmail is for Luddites who don't know how good webmail can be in the 21st century.

  9. Anonymous Coward


    you received an Email from mom saying that Email wasn't working. hmm, mom would never lie so that means Email was really down, but if it was really down then how did you get the Email? but you did get the Email so, arrgh, (head explodes)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe your mother is lying to you...

    Don't know what your problem is, friend. I can log in to Hotmail without any problem at all from the US.

    Maybe this is Microsoft's answer to the EU.

  11. tardigrade
    Thumb Up

    "Steve Ballmer lies to my mother"...

    ...that one needs filing away as one of the best Reg Headlines in a long time. lol.

    I now have to turn my keyboard upside down to let the Tea drain out. :)

  12. John Doe

    Just change your provider...

    Google (gmail and gtalk)


    AOL (AIM, ICQ)

    Jabber (chat servers around the world, with encryption)

  13. Scooby
    IT Angle

    Let me get this straight....

    Let me get this straight... Your mother emailed you, letting you know she couldn't access her Hotmail account, no matter what Micro$oft said, using email? Email?

    If you need this spelled out for you, sesame street may be more your speed.

    Scooby Says AhroooWTF

  14. Daintree Peters
    Thumb Down

    We're all indexed, mate

    You think the cute little advertising in hotmail isn't content-sensitive? C'mon...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Uh? One email addie?

    For instance:


    "I can't send this to you by Live services so I will send a message to you using one of the email addresses given my by my ISP"


  16. Les Matthew

    Re: Maybe your mother is lying to you...

    "By Cade Metz in San Francisco"


    "But just minutes later, I received an email my mother. "It is 7:30 pm in Raleigh, North Carolina."

    There's brace of clues for you. ;)

  17. Andrew Paterson

    @James Whale

    "Like many Microsoft miscreants, it's slow, bloated, and overly-tarted up at the expense of efficiency. I left for GMail's faster, cleaner, more capacious pastures years ago and I've not once looked back.

    Hotmail is for Luddites who don't know how good webmail can be in the 21st century."

    Soooooooooooooooo, can I get this right........ you stopped using hotmail several years ago, yet you still feel able to contribute comments on how it works/performs,etc.....

    I use both, and to be honest find gmail annoying, how you think it's a good webmail system I don't know (or care, so don't feel compelled to reply!) . As to other comments, the amount of spam is nothing to do with the provider. I have used hotmail since it came out and receive barely any spam to my email address, I have used gmail since it came out and receive 20-30 spam emails a day, of which 2-3 end up in the inbox.

  18. heystoopid

    But then again

    But then again this is the same company that cannot get it's XP and Vista security updates right (explains much about why autopatcher was killed, sniff!) , wonders why it's business customers stick to win2k like glue !

    But also which company is the choice for spam email again ?

  19. Morely Dotes

    @ Scooby and loopy AC

    This may come as a shock, but there are other email services which are *not* Hotmail. Thus, a person might easily have both a Hotmail account and a real email account (my wife, for example).

  20. Anonymous


    >>But just minutes later, I received word from my mother via this web site.

  21. system

    RE: Let me get this straight....

    "I received word from my mother via this web site"

    No need for working email when the site has an email sending form. Even if that form was not there, there are other ways of emailing outside of hotmail :-P

    If this causes people to leave hotmail though, we may actually stand a chance of getting automated confirmation messages to people, without them dissapearing into the ether because hotmail decided they are not valid messages and are not spam either.

  22. Michael Martin

    Sound off - working or not, and what ISP?

    In an effort to gain some perfectly useless information, can everyone list what ISP you are using and whether or not you can connect?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: No form of web-based email can be considered secure

    Sweeping. Why not? Have you discovered some previously unknown hole in https?

  24. Steve Roper

    Re: Sound off

    I'm with Internode in Australia, and I was able to connect to my Hotmail account 2 minutes before posting this, so no problems here.

  25. DanBe
    IT Angle

    Since when

    do you need a working Hotmail service to SEND an Email ???

    Is the SMTP server of your ISP not enough ?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    To email or not to email

    Those saying mother emailed when email was down probably didn't read the article fully or that or they didn't understand it.

    Either way it smacks of fanboyism to me.

    There are more things in the Internet and Earth than dreamt of in Microsofts philosophy.

  27. max allan
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Re: No form of web-based email can be considered secure

    What's HTTPS got to do with the fact that all your mail flies over the internet in the clear and can be intercepted, read or modified and then sits on some server owned by someone else with lord only knows how many disgruntled, bored employees able to access your mailbox.

    Yes, officially they'll only disclose messages under law suit or whatever but that doesn't stop people doing network snoops, disk analysis, whatever, for perfectly valid technical reasons of debugging problems, and while they're there, reading your email. Maybe not on purpose, maybe your message has a bad packet in the middle.

    I don't really think any email, web based or not is "secure" except maybe if it goes over networks you own to servers you own.

    Even TLS to a lot of large companies goes to MessageLabs first who hold a decrypted copy of any message for a fraction of a second. (for virus/spam scanning etc.) MessageLabs are probably a fairly safe place. Depends how secret you need your message to be.


    PS Black helicopter to warn that this message may make you more paranoid than you need to be.

  28. Anonymous Coward


    You don't even need your ISP's mail server (in most cases), just send direct to the recipient's mail server.

    You don't even need a mail client - you can often use telnet to talk to the recipient's mail server directly if you know a little about the SMTP.

    Of course, some mail servers (Yahoo for one IIRC) don't let you do that but require mail to come via a recognised ISP's relay but that's a crappy way to to block botnet spam as it also blocks millions of genuine senders by default.

  29. Joe K
    Gates Horns


    Any relation to the recent worldwide Youtube outage from a rogue DNS/BGP table update that spread everywhere?

    Wouldn't surprise me if some bored admin saw that and went: "you can take a site off the net that simply?? Lets try it with Microsoft..........."

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I cannot get to hotmail through live messenger, although it tells me when I get new emails, and who they are from etc. if I click the inbox icon I just get a hung page.

    However if I open a browser and go to it works fine.

    This is the same with different computers and using both NTL and Sky as ISP.

  31. James Whale
    Thumb Down

    @ Andrew Paterson

    I no longer use it as my primary email address, but I've still got my Hotmail account (had it since 1995-ish before it was bought by MS) and log in every other week or so on the offchance that it's become faster, or that Microsoft's clunky implementation of Ajax has improved, i.e. if it has become more like GMail, but it never does.

  32. Daniel Bennett


    Working for me - However only the "Classic" version of mail.

    If you go to you can login but hangs for me when loading - If you click classic view then it loads fine.

  33. jeffrey
    Gates Horns

    GRRR hotmail is rubbish now

    I kind of use gmail to read my hotmail. I left hotmail plus for the worst service and customer service ever (explained below)

    The reason I still use hotmail is because I don't want to change my email address, as it is used for everything and everyone knows it, however all my email from hotmail gets automatically forwarded to my gmail account. So I never need to sign into hotmail (and it doesn't lapse as I use MSN messenger most days). All this came about because..

    I used to have a hotmail plus account, but one day hotmail decided that they would delete 9 years of my emails with the exception of the ones from the week before they deleted them. This was whilst using the web interface to hotmail in safari, I marked one email as "mark as read" and it deleted most of them across multiple pages,Anyway 15 emails to customer services later (the first 14 of which said

    "Hi my name is <insert random generated name here> , your customer services representitive....

    I am sorry you pay for our service and we have deleted all you emails. we are unable to retrieve them, having looked into your account details we can see that you access our systems using Norton Internet Security Suite (an achievement indeed from OSX, that has no Antivirus or similar programs installed on it, and is the only computer I access it from). Microsoft cannot be held responsible for the actions of 3rd party antivirus vendors like Norton, we are therefore unable to help"

    After the same response from 14 customer service reps , and some angry emails from me, they finally refunded my subscription and gave me a years free hotmail plus access.

  34. Steve

    @Andrew Paterson

    Why do you find Gmail annoying? give reasons if you want to be taken seriously.

    I use both...

    Hotmail for registering for web services

    Gmail for keeping in touch with friends

    I use the exclusive filter on Hotmail which should restrict Inbox delivery to addresses on my contacts list but does not. I still get spam, some of it from spoofed hotmail addresses, thats why I gave up using it for friends, the new Live mail interface is nice, it looks like Outlook Express 6.

    Gmail gives me quicker access, less clutter, threaded conversations with IM and email replies in-line, a great tagging system, mailbox rules, open access via POP and IMAP, a calendar with SMS reminders, online document storage and editing and really too much stuff to list here.

    Why the hell would anyone choose hotmail?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The good part is that GMail has some of the most sophisticated spam filtering around... and I moved my domains to Google Apps for that purpose alone. Instead of having to administer my spam filtering for an hour a day, it is now done proactively and considering the technology behind it is worth more to me than supposed privacy concerns.

    Privacy only becomes an issue when you fail to run Gmail in secured mode, and when you don't set up your POP3 service to delete (not archive) and don't clear out the Trash.

    That Gmail works on my mobile makes my life also a lot easier.

  36. Alan Parsons


    This is precisely why I don't use any Microsoft products. And neither should you.

  37. Matty

    Hotmail? Whats that then?

    I've NEVER used Hotmail, and never will.

    Reason? Microsoft.

    Says it all really.

  38. Andrew Carpenter
    Paris Hilton

    @ Scott

    "I wonder what Paris uses for her mailbox?"

    She uses a T-Mobile Sidekick, which famously got hacked a few years back.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GMX is good too

    Besides GMail, there's GMX, and a slew of other clean, secure, relatively spam free web based email services available.

    I dropped Hotmail like a bad habit after M$ first contaminated it.

  40. StopthePropaganda

    I experienced no interruptions in Hotmail service

    my spam box filled just like usual, and I was able to log in and delete aforementioned spam anytime I tried.

  41. Captain DaFt
    Gates Horns

    Deja-vu all over again!

    I thought all this seemed familiar, so I checked, Yep, it went down before and Microsoft couldn't fix it. (They forgot to pay their hosting bill back in 1999)

    Maybe somebody should drop a note to Michael Chaney?

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