Hotmail problems blight Outlook migration as users report service trouble

Microsoft's planned upgrade of Hotmail users to its new service hit a snag today, with numerous reports of users being locked out of their accounts.

The problem seems to be affecting existing Hotmail users that have recently upgraded to Outlook, preventing them from accessing their emails when they try to sign in via its desktop and mobile sites.

Based on IT Pro's own investigation, non-Hotmail users that have signed up for accounts do not appear to be affected at this time in the UK.

Hotmail and users have used the social networking site Twitter to express their frustration at the service trouble, which is thought to have been going on for several hours.

One user, @WillGorgeousy, wrote: "@Microsoft Looks like the migration to Outlook isn't working. Hotmail down on the web. Keep us posted on any updates."

Meanwhile, Hotmail user ‏@LouboutinJools claimed: "Absolutely nothing but grief with my Hotmail account since I [moved] to Outlook. Put it off for as long as you can."

IT Pro approached Microsoft for clarification about the number and general location of the affected users, but was still awaiting a response as this article went to press.

In the meantime, the Microsoft Support account on Twitter confirmed that "Hotmail/Outlook services are down" and that it is working to fix the issue.

The account also advises users to check its service status page, which at the time of publication reported no problems affecting Hotmail or

News of the outage comes less than a week after Microsoft announced that it was stepping up its efforts to get Hotmail users to migrate to, as it prepares to retire its aging email brand.

This isn't the first time Hotmail users have run into problems with the move to Outlook, as many claimed to have been switched to without permission back in August 2012, and reported problems accessing emails.

Updated: Since IT Pro broke news of the Hotmail/Outlook outage yesterday, Microsoft have been in touch with a brief statement. In it, the company said the problem has now been fixed.

"Hotmail and experienced a short-term incident that caused a small percentage of customers not to be able to access their email. We worked quickly to resolve the issue, and service is now restored to normal; we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this caused our customers," a company spokesperson wrote.

Whether or not yesterday's problems will affect Microsoft's reported momentum, when it comes to getting users to ditch Hotmail in favour of is anyone's guess, as the company recently claimed its new email client already has 60 million active users.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.