Is Hotmail Down?


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About Hotmail

Hotmail, also known as, is a popular web-based email service that was launched in 1996. It was one of the first free email services available to users worldwide and quickly gained popularity due to its user-friendly interface and convenient features. Hotmail allows users to send and receive emails, manage contacts, and organize their inbox efficiently. With a generous storage capacity, users can store a large number of emails and attachments. Hotmail also offers advanced spam filtering and security features to protect users from unwanted emails and potential threats. Over the years, Hotmail has evolved and rebranded as, integrating seamlessly with other Microsoft services such as Office Online and OneDrive. It continues to be a reliable and widely used email service, catering to the communication needs of millions of users globally.

Notable Outage Incidents with Hotmail

Hotmail, one of the pioneering web-based email services, has experienced several notable outages throughout its history. These outages have caused inconvenience to millions of users worldwide and have highlighted the challenges faced by large-scale email providers in maintaining uninterrupted service. Here, we will discuss three famous outages of Hotmail:

1. The “Leap Year Bug” Outage (2000):
On February 29, 2000, Hotmail suffered a major outage due to a software bug related to the leap year. The bug caused Hotmail’s servers to incorrectly calculate the date, leading to a system-wide failure. As a result, millions of Hotmail users were unable to access their emails for nearly two days. Microsoft, which had acquired Hotmail in 1997, had to work round the clock to fix the issue and restore service. This incident highlighted the importance of thorough testing and quality assurance in preventing such critical failures.

2. The “Data Center Power Outage” Outage (2011):
In March 2011, Hotmail experienced a significant outage that lasted for several days. The outage was caused by a power failure at one of Microsoft’s data centers in Dublin, Ireland. This data center hosted a substantial portion of Hotmail’s infrastructure, leading to widespread service disruption. The power outage affected not only Hotmail but also other Microsoft services like SkyDrive and Office 365. Microsoft had to deploy emergency measures, including transferring some services to alternate data centers, to restore functionality. This incident highlighted the vulnerability of centralized data centers and the need for robust backup systems.

3. The “Mail Storage Corruption” Outage (2013):
In March 2013, Hotmail suffered another major outage, affecting millions of users worldwide. This time, the outage was caused by a storage corruption issue in one of Hotmail’s databases. The corruption led to data inconsistencies and prevented users from accessing their emails or performing any actions on their accounts. Microsoft had to undertake a complex recovery process, involving data restoration and repair, to resolve the issue. The outage lasted for several days, causing frustration among users and raising concerns about the reliability of cloud-based email services.

These famous outages of Hotmail serve as reminders of the challenges faced by large-scale email providers in maintaining uninterrupted service. They highlight the importance of robust infrastructure, thorough testing, and effective disaster recovery mechanisms. Despite these occasional setbacks, Hotmail (now known as continues to be a widely used email service, constantly evolving to meet the demands of its vast user base.

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