NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Carly gets trashed, Hotmail is crashed

NOTES FROM THE FIELD: Carly gets trashed, Hotmail is crashed

Many thanks to the readers who responded to my shameless grovelling for compliments in my recent column. Nearly all agreed with the anonymous critic who said my column is trashy, but that's the way they like it.

A Broom With a View: After the news of Carly F's departure swept through HP last month, one insider claims employees were skipping through the halls singing "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead". That's harsh. But it could have been worse; they might have sung "If She Only Had a Heart" - or "a Brain", or "the Nerve".

The Lord Giveth: Microsoft has changed its mind and will let longtime Hotmailers continue accessing their accounts for free using Outlook. Reader Mike A suggests this might be a good time to say something nice about Microsoft, although he suspects it will probably kill me. In my book, taking something away and then giving it back after users howl doesn't qualify you for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. But here goes: Every time I've visited the Redmond campus, the lawn was always very well maintained... Hey, that wasn't so hard.

Tales of Hotmail Woe: Meanwhile, Web mail horror stories keep rolling in. One tipster claims mail he had deleted four years ago suddenly showed up in his Hotmail inbox. Another claims Hotmail told him he was using exactly -1 (that is 'minus one') per cent of his 250MB of storage. Several readers wrote of virus scanners gone wild or servers gone bad. MSN says "isolated issues" affected a "small number" of customers, but otherwise everything is hunky-dory. Maybe Microsoft should forget about email and get into something they're good at, like lawn care.

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