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Microsoft Outlook, SkyDrive outages hit users worldwide

Some Microsoft users are reporting problems accessing their Outlook, Skydrive and Contacts on August 14.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is experiencing difficulties with its Outlook.com, Skydrive and Contacts services, as its own dashboard and various users are reporting on August 14.


I am not having any access issues myself, but others are having problems accessing various services.

According to the Live.com dashboard, here's what's been happening this morning (EST):

Outlook: "We're having a problem accessing email. You might not be able to see all your email messages."

Contacts: "Address book change notifications may not be properly delivered to Hotmail (EAS) for some customers resulting in out of date contacts on devices."

SkyDrive: "Services such as Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive are experiencing technical difficulties. We appreciate your patience as we work on the problem."

(Yes, Hotmail and Messenger don't really exist any more; it's now all Outlook.com and Skype IM. But that's what the Microsoft status message says.)

Do a search on Twitter on #Hotmail to see users complaining about being unable to access their Microsoft mail and the other cloud services mentioned above. Some users are saying they've been unable to get their mail for more than 24 hours. (This is at noon EST on August 14.)

I asked Microsoft officials for comment as to what is going on and when it will be fixed and have yet to hear back.

Update (12:45 PM EST): A Microsoft spokesperson just sent me the following statement:

"Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting a small number of customers' access to some Outlook.com and SkyDrive experiences and we are working to restore full access to the services as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage people to visit the status page (https://status.live.com/)."

Update (2 PM EST): Microsoft has changed the status on SkyDrive to indicate whatever problem there was has been resolved. Still no word from company officials on what happened or when the remaining services will be up and running.

Update (4 PM EST): The dashboard said Microsoft has resolved the Contact issues at 3 pm EST. Still no word on what's going on or when Outlook.com will be fixed for those for whom it is not working. 

Update (4:50 PM EST): From the dashboard: "We identified a solution to the problem and have brought most services back online. The rest of services are being brought up gradually." No other word, so far, about what happened to take Outlook.com down for a day (or more, according to some on Twitter).

Update: 8/15 (received from Microsoft at 6:50 PM EST on August 14): From a spokesperson: "Outlook.com experienced an incident that caused some users not to be able to access their account or share their SkyDrive files. Microsoft has restored web access for all users but some people might still see issues with their mobile devices.  The company is working to restore full mobile access as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage users to visit the status page (https://status.live.com/)."

I am still seeing Twitter reports from individuals who are still having problems accessing Outlook Thursday morning EST -- and not just on mobile devices. A note on the Live status dashboard is now saying an update on what's going on with mobile devices wll be coming at 9:00 AM EST on August 15. There's no further word from Microsoft at this time.

Update 8/15 (1 PM EST): Microsoft still has not resolved the Outlook.com issue -- as I can attest from tweets and emails I've been seeing. The company updated the status dashboard with this message at 1 PM EST:


Outlook.com is still experiencing issues and now Microsoft is promising an update on the situation at 7:00 PM EST. 

Update 8/17 (8 AM EST): The status dashboard is now reporting Outlook.com is fixed. I am still getting tweets from individuals saying it is not. If you are still having problems with your Outlook.com, is it on your PC, your mobile device or both? Chime in below in the comments. Thanks.

The lack of transparency and communication from Microsoft about this set of incidents has been puzzling, I have to say.

Any theories or observations to report, any of you who are affected?

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