MS midnight feast spooks users

Microsoft's come-and-get-it freebies offer for users who downloaded its Internet Explorer (IE) 3.0 full release at the witching hour last night ended up spooking users who jammed Big Green's Web site.

The company offered a PC, multimedia CD-ROMs, day-glo T-shirts and books in a virtual raffle for users who downloaded the final build at 12.00 midnight Pacific Daylight Time. However, the so-called Midnight Madness free-for-all turned into a virtual invitation to queue, infuriating Net junkies waiting for the browser.

"I figured there would be some bandwidth problems due to response but it's worse than I expected," wrote one user in an IE feedback forum. "I'm currently connected to a 56Kbit line. I started 15 minutes ago and the dialog says there are nearly fours left to complete the download." UK users who attempted the download this morning were caught in the same loop.

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