Microsoft Solves Hotmail Issues

Microsoft has been forced to field complaints from irate Hotmail users who have incurred major problems after a recent overhaul.

The company announced last week that all accounts had been moved to the new version of Hotmail. Not long after, users started to complain that fundamental functionality was missing.

People who posted complaints on Microsoft's Hotmail forums then received some unorthodox explanations for the problems.

"If you are using High Contrast display mode in Windows, you may have difficulty sending mail," said a Microsoft support representative in answer to one query.

The solution is designed to disable high contrast settings, but it is not made clear why such a seemingly unrelated software setting could have such an effect on Hotmail.

Microsoft is also blaming "older browsers" such as Safari 3 or Firefox 2.5 for the problems, although it supports Internet Explorer 6.

The firm also took the surprising move of recommending Google's Chrome browser instead of its own for those using mobile broadband to access Hotmail.

In a rare admission, Microsoft took the blame for Hotmail running a script which it said causes the browser to run slowly.

The company claimed that this is due to "running Messenger on the web in combination with a few other variables". Until a fix is released, users are recommended to sign out of Messenger.

These pseudo fixes have left users irate, and the deletion of numerous forum posts has led to accusations that Microsoft is censoring its forums and not listening to its customers.

Many are also wondering why these seemingly basic faults were not caught in the testing phase.

Given the widespread use of Hotmail, such faults are bound to be a source of embarrassment for the firm.

Microsoft had hoped that the revamped Hotmail would give Gmail a run for its money, but at present it simply needs to focus on fixing the fundamentals before people start looking at the alternatives.

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