December 27, 1999 11:35 AM PST

Good Samaritan squashes Hotmail lapse?

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A Linux user is taking credit for restoring service to Microsoft's Hotmail free email service, saying he paid a delinquent domain name registration fee that blocked access to some users over much of the Christmas weekend.

Michael Chaney, a Linux consultant from Nashville, Tenn., said he paid the bill by credit card through the online payment service of domain name registrar Network Solutions after he was denied access to his Hotmail account on Christmas Eve.

"I wasn't trying to embarrass Microsoft," he said in an interview with CNET "I figured it would make life a lot easier to a lot of Hotmail users."

Neither Microsoft nor Network Solutions could be reached immediately to confirm Chaney's account of how the problem was solved. It was unclear how many users were affected.

The lapse, which was first reported on the Internet news service, was apparently caused when Microsoft's registration for the domain name expired sometime Dec. 24, Chaney said. The site verifies user identification and passwords for access to Hotmail and about 25 other services, according to Chaney.

Chaney said he paid the bill Dec. 25 at about 2 p.m. EST and was given invoice #11395965 documenting the transaction. An electronic copy of the receipt can be viewed at his Web site at ""

Hotmail service was likely restored by 5 a.m. the following day during a normally scheduled server update, he said.

Chaney said Microsoft has yet to contact him to thank him for his actions or to offer to reimburse the $35 registration fee.

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Hello, my fellow cnet'ians, I am from the future.

I just read about this today, and I can't believe Microsoft hasn't changed at all.

For reference's sake, a few days earlier Microsoft's Azure service took a hit because they forgot to renew their ssl certificates.

Some things never change :P
Posted by skippertux (46 comments )
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