Technical problems at Microsoft for the second time within a week caused trouble for users trying to connect to Hotmail and MSN Messenger.
Users around the globe reported that they had problems signing on to the Hotmail and MSN Messenger services during about a three-hour period from 1700 GMT until 2000 GMT last Thursday.
Microsoft said it identified an issue that caused log-on and connectivity issues on some MSN services for a portion of its customers and has since solved it. The company did not specify the scope of the problem.
The outage also affected connectivity for MSN Internet Access customers, Microsoft said.
The company blames the problems on an unspecified internal problem and said it has no indication of any external causes such as cyberattacks.
Although to users the problem was essentially the same, Microsoft said that Thursday's problems were different from those that caused an eight-hour outage, recently.