Microsoft's Windows Live suite of online services is experiencing a serious outage today, with many users reporting they are unable to use Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger. LiveSide reports "a fairly widespread disruption in some/all LiveID and Live services" and there are widespread confirmations of Hotmail outages. Microsoft has acknowledged the problems and issued a statement:
"We are 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."
Joe Wilcox at Microsoft Watch says that his testing "suggests a problem with Windows Live ID." Mary Jo Foley notes that today was "Not a great day for Microsoft to admit that 'a good part' of all of its Windows Live infrastructure is running on Windows Server 2008, which officially launches on February 27." We'll update as we learn more.
UPDATE: Microsoft says the problem was indeed related to Live ID logins, and is now resolved:
Earlier today, an issue began that has caused some consumers worldwide to experience difficulty logging in to their Windows Live ID accounts. This issue has since been resolved and normal operations have been restored to all customers. Microsoft customers experienced issues accessing various services that rely on Windows Live ID for authentication including Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger and Xbox Live. We worked to identify the issue and have restored full normal operation to all of our customers. There is no danger of data loss or data compromise. It is important to note that the security and privacy of our customers was at no time compromised as a result of this issue.
Microsoft sources told Todd Bishop that the issue initially affected "a majority" of Windows Live users, but over time declined to about 30 percent by the time Microsoft fixed the issue.