Microsoft's Outlook.com is back up

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Microsoft’s Outlook.com web mail application and SkyDrive cloud storage service suffered a partial outage Wednesday.

The problems began at around 10 a.m. EDT, according to information posted by Microsoft on its Live Status page. It was resolved at 2:37 EDT, according to another Microsoft posting, although Microsoft indicated then that mobile users were still having trouble syncing email.

An afternoon Microsoft update on Wednesday's email outage

The Outlook.com issue prevented affected users from seeing all their email messages. There was also a related problem with the People contacts application in which address book change notifications may not be properly delivered to Hotmail. This caused some customers to have out-of-date contacts on Outlook.com.

There were no details on what affected SkyDrive users are experiencing.

A spokesman for Microsoft said via email that the problems are affecting “a small number of customers’ access” to some features of the impacted products. “We are working to restore full access to the services as quickly as possible,” he said.

Good record for Office 365 cloud suite

The problems come days after Microsoft last week triumphantly announced that it had exceeded 99.9 percent uptime in each of the past four quarters for its Office 365 cloud suite, which businesses use for email, collaboration and communication.

Microsoft also said last week that it will report uptime stats for the Business, Government and Education editions of Office 365 at the end of every quarter from now on. Until now, only Office 365 customers have had access to that type of availability information.

The Office 365 components measured for uptime are Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, and Office Web Apps. Some industry analysts welcomed the move towards more transparency, but said at the time that Microsoft should go further and provide more granular details, such as uptime by geography and by application, and ideally even set up a public status page like the Live Status page it has for consumer cloud applications.

 Updated 8/14/2013 at 3:45 p.m.

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