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Microsoft Hotmail/Passport Service Interrupted:UPDATED 272

Oryx Gazella writes "Unable to access Hotmail this Christmas morning? This would be why! You may have received an error like "unable to locate host", or "no such domain" after your browser was directed from to There are no NS records for the domain in any of the root name servers. Hotmail ( uses the Passport Service ( which allows users of the Microsoft Messenger Service to login using their "Passport" and to add other Passport members to their contact list. The new MSN Messenger Service 2.0 is integrated with MSN Hotmail and Microsoft Outlook Express for real-time email notification, and retrieval. " Not being a Hotmail or regular Windows user for that matter, I cannot verify this - but I've gotten several e-mails from people this morning wondering about it.Update: 12/26 01:39 by H :Click below to read the quite humourous conclusion to this story.

Effugas writes "Oh, this is just beautiful. Linux user Michael D. Chaney of Doublewide.Net, upon reading of Microsoft's Christmas loss of the domain, took it upon himself to donate $35.00 for the world's largest software company to restore service for its customers. I've heard about Linux empowering its users to truly prevent downtime, but this is ridiculous ;-) I'm still laughing--Merry Christmas, Microsoft, from the Linux community to you! "

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Microsoft Hotmail/Passport Service Interrupted

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  • Folks, it's 6:00AM CST and Hotmail is again accessible. is finally resolvable again:

    [root@dialer /root]# nslookup
    Server: localhost


    By golly, I think I fixed it.

  • HI -- Thanks for doing this -- I've been using Hotmail from FreeNet computers since before it was owned by Microsoft -- I really appreciated it then, and I'm sure others do now. Kirk B.
  • Generous Linux user pays past due Microsoft Bill
    World richest man doesn't pay his bills
    The Geek who saved christmas
    Microsoft lets registration expire
    Bill Gates is such a twit
    (has nothering to do with the story
    but i'de like to see it anyway)
    Microsoft sold your Ewallet for $35.00
    NSI blips off Microsoft
    Bill Gates get charity from Linux in christmas
    Microsoft lets expire.

  • you da man! ! :)
  • This is sooo cool, gratulations.
    Hey hemos and friends, how about an update to the front story?
  • I would have throught they would have guys there 24/7/365.25 troubleshooting problems and mail failures.

    You've hit the point right on the head.
    This is an example of how lazy a monopoly is about it's customers. This is an example of how MS doesn't care about it's users. This is why so many people dislike MS.

  • . Free, reliable, perl, and open source.
  • Because everyone knows that 2 days before you finish a massive conversion, the old system dies and you have to do a lot of work to keep the old one running until the new one comes online.
  • Yahoo Mail, formerly owned by Four11, formerly, is great. I've used their service (or the predecessors, the interface has barely changed at all) for nearly 4 years.

    Availability has never been a problem, and the features are very well laid out and useful. As Roblimo, I use the POP access all the time, makes it so much easier on other people's computers. The filtering is also quite good (bulk mail and personal filters both).

    I also give Yahoo kudos for their smooth transition a couple months ago for those of us with Rocketmail accounts, being allowed to keep our addresses but switch over to the "official" Yahoo Mail system. Though for the two years between Yahoo buying it and switching it over we had no advertisements. :)

    Email me at luko (at) rocketmail (dot) com

  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday December 26, 1999 @05:51AM (#1445873)
    I've been giving a lot of thought to this story, and would like to point out a few details. There is a lot of talk about the diferences between the suport model of ms products and Linux products.

    ms often claims that "there isn't any one source for suport" in Linux. This is a good thing, and it is related to the outage. here's why.

    When went out early on the morning of the 25th, a loose band of Linux users from around the world (using /. as there hub) set to work on the problem early Christmas morning. Never thinking about themselves, never considering that it was a holiday, all they knew was that it was a network, and it needed fixing.

    These selfless acts of working a problem through to a solution is not only common in the Linux comunity, it's standard.

    At first, many people thought it was a problem with Hotmail (as the original story stated []), but it didn't take long to find out that it was something else.

    While many people suspected a problem in DNS, the first sign of what the problem might be, came from an anonymous user at 9:30 AM confirming earlier thoughts that it may be a NSI related DNS problem.

    *** can't find
    Non-existent host/domain

    Other users expressed thoughts that the domain was shut off by non-payment (Hydrophobe on 09:44 AM -- Saturday December 25 1999 CST) but didn't give details.

    Still, many thought perhaps faulty DNS caching may play a roll. After all, ait would be rare for a domain like (who controls purchases at nearly 30 domains around the internet) would be out.

    Then at 09:53 AM -- Saturday December 25 1999 CST /. user hit paydirt when he looked up at:

    Also, /. user vovin posted a few nslookeps to confirm that the DNS was indeed where the problem was.

    Less than an hour later: by Trailer Trash ( on 10:58 AM -- Saturday December 25 1999 CST (#90)
    (User Info)

    Hey, I paid it for them. Merry Christmas, Microsoft.
    ---- Your transaction was successful. Payment has been posted for the domain.
    -------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------
    Details of your transaction are given below. You may print this page for future reference.
    Card Type: MASTERCARD Card Number: [SNIP]

    and boom, the domain was back up and running.
    distributed support in action

    This is also an axample of why monopolies are bad things. ms, to fat lazy to care about it's customers, left all the users disapointed just when they needed the service the most, in the heart of the holiday buying season.

    And all of this could have been prevented by a simple $35,00 payment.

  • As people have now figured out, Microsoft forgot to pay $35 to renew, and NSI pulled the record out of the root servers for it. It isn't just, they appear to have run something on the 23rd which cleaned out every record which was 2-3 months overdue. I noticed a few other domains dissapear this morning which look almost the same in dig as does right now.

    Is this a monthly thing for NSI? Or are they really idiots enough that they started cracking down on late payments, at a time when noone would know until Christmas day? It's almost like they were getting kickbacks from Motorola because not enough people send pages on Christmas. (sorry, so many people have been posting really idiotic Linux vs NT vs BSD messages over this, when it's only what the root-servers are running that could possibly matter)

    Anyone transfered a domain from NSI to a competitor yet? Did it hurt? I have two with NSI, and stupidity like this has caused me to hate their idea of good service.

  • I use a number of different services. Yahoo is my main one. It seems to be the most reliable with the least number of hoops to jump through. I have downloaded the Messenger and though the earlier versions were a bit buggy it seems to be more stable now. Well, at least, stable in comparison to my Wintel box. *grin* Blue use to be my favorite color.
  • What does microsoft have to say about this registration? Its so cool, you definitely need to post their response. How about changing the registered servers for to point to :} cybertank
  • I check my mail on my pop3 account from Netscape inside Linux 2.2 by clicking on a little "button" in the lower right hand corner of the screen with my mouse. This is even easier, I think, than typing in those eleven or so characters; it is even one or two mouse clicks fewer than pulling down the "bookmarks" menu and picking Hotmail off it.

    Just think of all the effort I save! If I check my mail twice a day for the next ten years, I'll have freed up enough time to download one more centerfold picture from alt.mag.playboy. Maybe even two more pictures.

    Yours WDK -

  • I like my email service, personally... [].
    It's nice and reliable, high uptime, filters, no spam, folders, etc, the works.
  • I just feel like being a dick ... Geezus H Christ must be an absolute moron
    And a very Merry Christmas to you, as well. May you in the year to come find more sensitivity in choosing your words than you have just now displayed through your pejorative use of one particular name that means so incredibly much to countless individuals of all stations throughout this tired world.

    On this day--of all the possible days that the year is long--on this very day apart from all others, one might have held out a scintilla of hope for a tiny bit more charity, caring, and compassion than is otherwise customary. But one would then have been forgetting the nature of our medium, the particular allure of faceless lack of accountability, and the bilous hate, hurt, and harm that daily spew from Slashdot. Though the morrow bring ample opportunity for once again being the poster children for Man's inhumanity to Man, why put off till tomorrow what could be mercilessly inflicted today?

    Peace to you and yours.

  • I just wanted to make sure that Microsoft can keep the domain, even though they have registred the domain in november but haven't payed the bill yet.

    Record last updated on 22-Nov-1999.
    Record created on 22-Nov-1999.
    Database last updated on 25-Dec-1999 12:47:25 EST.

    Your transaction was successful. Payment has been posted for the domain.
    -------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------
    Details of your transaction are given below. You may print this page for future reference.
    Card Type: VISA
    Amount Charged (USD): 70.00
    Approval Code: A 00 171656 00936058613054022BFV 01 X X

    -------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------
    List of Domains
    Count Domain Name Invoice Number Amount Due 1 14825868 70.00
    -------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------
    Thank you for using the On-Line Payment System. If you wish to pay for another domain, click on the Start button. If you have completed your transactions, click on Quit to exit the system and visit the Network Solutions Home Page.

    You can find the proof of the above at: []

    Sune Hansen
  • Go doubleclick on your girlfriend's lips the next time you're on a date. And when she gives you choices, totally ignore her and whine about why you have to lift a finger before getting down to business.

    Now you're going to tell me a GUI is easier than an interface that mimmicks human interaction: the command line?

    Repeat after me, Bill Gates did not invent the computer. Bill Gates did not invent the computer. come on now you can do it. Bill Gates makes money the same way, any salesman does, ripping off people with gimmicks.

    Oh and By the way, it's **n*x not Un*x.

  • Why? isn't in use

  • Because I wanted to give Microsoft a Cristmas gift.

  • Something on my portable PC has killed the passport system, but Hotmail is too dumb to notice. If I try and go to I just get stuck in a redirection loop. Since my Hotmail account will simply fill with Spam now (I don't use it for any real stuff) I don't really care - but still, someone here might...
  • I've been doing a little more research into this little outage, and I thought some of the information I found might be helpful to others here.

    Acording to ms own press release, (found at: []) this isn't just a hotmail issue. They have several domains signed up to use a service that ms itself wouldn't pay $35.00 to maintain.

    The list:
    CDW Computing Solutions
    Costco Online
    Crutchfield Electronics
    MSN eShop
    MSN Gift Certificates
    My Shopping Club
    Like most linux users, I would like to see electronic comerce thrive and progress, but in a safe secure manor.

    Therefore, we should consider it our duty to inform the webmasters at these domains that ms doesn't have there interests in mind. That ms could care less about the success of there venture. That ms left the domain down in the middle of the holiday buying season, and that they should be held liable for all contracts expressed or implied.

    If we each pick a domain and send an email informing them (be nice!) of the way ms has handled themselves in this situation, perhaps they will think twice about partnering with a monopolist that wouldn't give $35 to help them.

  • NSI probably just lost MSFT's original payment. They've done it before. Been there, done that, didn't have any fun and I bet I'm not the only one.

    Neat gesture, though, and it's probably the fastest way of dealing with this kind of problems with NSI. Almost as fast as sending 20 $100/minute lawyers to their head office.

    Thank god there's competition in the registration business these days... I hope microsoft sue the clothes off from them (after which everyone can do the same to microsoft. Excluding Bill, that would be just too disgusting to see)

  • I'm in Belgium, it is now 17.23, and hotmail works.

  • I have been known to use PureBooty -

    Pretty good webmail with great interface, nice features (notification of new mail to other account, etc)

    not to mention a really great name

  • Another really flaky webmail service with a really terrible interface, poor programming ("you didn't log out last time you used this service, click here to fix this problem, blah blah") but a cool domain name, get a mail account here [].

    I used to have a spam address there, probably still have, but the downtimes are incredible and it's slow and they shove you screenfuls of smut ads.

  • Hmmm... an interesting theory, to say the least. It would be quite possible, and wouldn't surprise me coming from Microsoft. It wouldn't work, however, and that's for the simple fact that actions speak louder than words. Remember, this is Microsoft -- they can tell Hotmail to do anything they want. So how come those servers aren't running WinNT, if it's so much better than FreeBSD? Yeah, I thought so.

    -- Stargazer

  • I'm in Canada, it is now 11:22 AM, and hotmail don't work. :)
  • gotta go with

    the domain just kicks ass

    i havent' had any problems with it, but then i haven't really used it either
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My brother can't get on hotmail either. Kinda funny, he came into my room to see if it would work in here, slashdot is my "home" page, so it loaded first. The ignorant brother ignored the loaded page, tried to go to hotmail, it doesn't work, complains at me. I go to check for myself, and there in BIG LETTERS on the already-loaded slashdot page is "Hotmail Not Working" Heh Merry Armageddon to all, and to all a good looting!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hi. Here's a list of webmail servers. Some are the same as what you listed (what you want to avoid), but I bet you'll find one you want to use from this list. gi .asp asp whew....
  • make sure Microsoft pays the bill. NSI has every right to disable services for any deliquent client.

    On the other hand, I think Monday will be amusing when people wake up and realize what has happened. :-)
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @06:20AM (#1445905) Journal
    Netscape Webmail has been real flakey, too. I couldn't get in at all two days ago; the "premium services" have been "temporaily suspended" for a while now and just today when I tried to look up the message I saved with my Slashdot p/w it told me "message temporarily unavailable".

    Does anyone have any opinions as to which webmail (Lycos, Yahoo, Netscape, Hotmail, OperaMail, etc.) is the best. By best I mean:

    1. Reliable! 99.99% uptime!
    2. Quick access.
    3. Everything else (sub-folders, filters, etc.)

  • As most /.ers are well aware, Hotmail uses FreeBSD to operate the mail system (a choice made by the original owners b4 micros~1 bought the company. micros~1 is currently hiring skilled engineers with FreeBSD experience (as this /. article shows). []

    Are you interested in being associated with a mail system that goes down more than a presidential intern? :) Now's your chace to work for the evil empire.

  • I am in Prince Rupert British Columbia, Canada (check your maps, and look for the "middle of nowhere"), and I have been unable to access my Hotmail account since at least 23:00 PST on the 24th. I have been a frequent traveller this year, and it seems like the availability of Hotmail is directly related to my travel schedule ;-)
  • Microsoft's webpage is run on NT servers, and it's *never* been Slashdotted

    This isn't really the point, as the issue is DNS and not OS reliability or security, but does get knocked over. See here [] -, running IIS on NT4, telling me "Server too busy." (You'll just have to take my word it that I didn't doctor that screenshot any. I thought it was so funny when that happened, I had to capture it.)

  • Think about it. Inroducing their own root name servers allows them to sell domains at their own will, even existing ones. And hardcoding these name servers into Win* OS's, of course. For VPNs without Internet access they would introduce MS-DNS Server (starting at $899)...

    Eek. Let's hope it won't happen.
  • Well.. our e6k costs around 700k. (not including shipping, power, cooling, etc.)

  • According to whois the person at Micros~1 who will receive that email is Carolyn Gudmundson, assuming she still works for bill after this... he is known for a very low tolerance of mistakes after all....

    Microsoft Corporation (PASSPORT6-DOM)
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA 98052-6399

    Domain Name: PASSPORT.COM

    Administrative Contact:
    Micosoft Hostmaster (MH37-ORG) msnhst@MICROSOFT.COM
    425 882 8080
    Fax- - .: 206 703 2641

    Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    425 882 8080
    Fax- PATH

    Billing Contact:
    Gudmundson, Carolyn (CG6635) carolyng@MICROSOFT.COM
    +1 (425) 882-8080 (FAX) +1 (425) 936-7329

    Record last updated on 25-Dec-1999.
    Record created on 02-Oct-1996.
    Database last updated on 26-Dec-1999 13:38:06 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:


  • by David A. Madore ( 30444 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @01:40PM (#1445915) Homepage
    /etc/rc.d/init.d/named stop
    cat >>/etc/named.conf <<'EOF'
    zone "" {
    type forward;
    /etc/rc.d/init.d/named start

    Assuming, of course, that you are running your own BIND (which IMHO, is nearly always a good idea). Otherwise, add the required entries to your /etc/hosts file.

    Not running Unix? Too bad, isn't it...

  • You also forgot ^^;
  • ya know... theres a reason why pop accounts are still in existance and are distributed to everyone with internet access
  • I'm fascinated that a number of hackers, with little in common other than a desire and an ability to fix a piece of the problem, can convene in an ad-hoc forum and fix the problem; probably before the problem's "owners" are even aware of its existence.

    Is this the first time slashdot has been used in this way, as a real-time tool to coordinate a debugging effort?
  • ...Micro$oft can't afford to pay the $35... Bill Gates is only multi-billionaire, you know.
  • Let's face it. Hotmail going down is no big news. What is interesting is how 90% of the internet goes down every time there's a holiday because no-one's around to maintain the servers yet as far as the news media is concerned, Y2K is the only problem.
  • You forgot
  • This was a gift, not an investment.

    Btw, this incident reminds me of that story of Bill Gates' grocery coupon:
    At the checkout line, Bill Gates started nervously searching his wallets, his pockets, for a rebate coupon of 50 cents that he though he had with him. But alas, he couldn't find it. In the meantime, a huge queue built up behind him. But he continued searching, until somebody waiting in the queue behind him just tossed him two quarters...

  • Don't let your named listen on port 53, make it send queries from a non-standard port, use fascist logging on port 53, use the openwall Linux security patches to make the stack non executable, don't run BIND as root, and always follow bugtraq to learn about the latest security holes.

    That should be reasonably safe.

  • I've been using it for a couple years now and it's great. I've only seen it down once, and what a piss off that was (three hours, but I'm a whiner).

    Here. []

    Merry Christmas 5l45hd07 b17ch35!
    (Just kidding, I'm not 1337 enough to have come up with that on my own, my kid sister is a h4x0r.

  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Sunday December 26, 1999 @01:30PM (#1445932)
    Is this the first time slashdot has been used in this way, as a real-time tool to coordinate a debugging effort?

    Congradulations. You get it. You understand the "bazaar" form of open source software development.

    To answer your question I would say that no, this isn't the first time that a solution was ferited out here on slashdot(/.)

    Perhaps this particular solution was solved a little faster than others(it was easy:), but everyday people pose questions and get results.

    The realtime moderation system here on /. allows the truly insightful and informative responses to instantly be subjected to peer review around the world, and float to the top. Where else can an engineer judge there thoughts and ideas so quickly?

    Just as an example, the current top story [] on /. talks about game software, and a persons ability to cheat at that game if the source code is open sourced. Someone, somewhere has worked through this problem before, and in less than an hour, there have been 4 (Score:5) responses to the story(including the actual guy writing the software being debated.)(see here:1 [] 2 [] 3 [] 4 []).

    This kind of peer review and moderations without censorship allows the best ideas to flurrish, and all the other ideas to keep flowing.


  • I think they should have used Quicken instead of Money to handle their payments.
  • Michael:
    Here I am sitting on 5 fresh moderator points and I can't crank this up beyond where it already is. Damn! That was a truly cool thing you did for the users. If M$ doesn't backfill your coffers, I have to believe the community will. The PR you
    just generated is priceless!
  • The "E" in E-mail has nothing to do with marketing... it was called that back when people were like "what's that box? a computer? what are you, a weirdo?"
  • I think I heard someone mention that e10ks go for about 1.5 mil. But I'd think it'd depend what options you get with it.
  • The real question is why a group of /.'ers on a discussion board managed to pay NSI and fix this problem before Microsoft/Hotmail staff could. I would have throught they would have guys there 24/7/365.25 troubleshooting problems and mail failures.
  • Up to this point I still can't believe this is a real story.

  • I had problems accessing my mailbox for a week or two about three months ago. Both from the web page, and from a POP3 client.

    Problems have since disappeared.
  • This is without a doubt the best mail service I have found. It forfills the three criteria - Reliable, Quick, and Everything else with ease...

    It may be an .au site, but I don't use it because it's Australian. I use it because it's the best!
  • Update:7:45PMCST
    I just got off the phone with a reported from the merc news. I filled him in on the details of the story and put him in contact with Michael Chaney to confirm the details.

    If all goes well, this will be a breaking story on GMSV tomarrow.

    and remember, you heard it on /. first!!

  • REAL men use their own mailserver and pine... :-)
    For business purposes I also use webmail, and my choice is HushMail, the encrypted alternative. It runs entirely in Java, so you don't get the lag normal HTML gives you.

    Btw, does anyone have a good, and FREE, webmail package for apache to recommend?

  • - finally, a reason to enable Java. :)

    Seriously, I like it a lot because of the strong encryption that's transparent enough for my mother to use. (So far I haven't had any problems using it either.) I haven't heard of any other encryption-oriented webmail places, but I'm sure they're out there somewhere.

  • Hey .. DNS crap happens, guys. Although I still believe that Microsoft is evil, we should not succomb to such childish mudslinging .. if they had a problem (like ALL of us do at some point..), no big deal - it will be fixed. Besides .. it is Microsoft .. why is this such a big surprise? Tim
  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @04:24PM (#1445955) Homepage
    Hey, I spoke with the reporter about two hours ago- at 6:30PM CST. My guess is that we'll be hearing more about this, and I'll keep the /. crowd updated.
  • "Always on" static internet connections, like cable modems and DSL are on the increase. Running your own SMTP server at home is becoming a more viable option for a lot of people.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, it's all coming together nicely...

    You see, those adds for people with Linux/BSD skills were not only filled by zealots, but by full-fledged UNIX-guerrillas! Don't worry folks, everything's going to plan. Soon enough, we'll have the whole MS compound sealed off, then we'll move in for the kill -9...

  • by tpck ( 66866 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @06:31AM (#1445987)
    What if...

    Microsoft purposefully takes down Hotmail, and then blames in on the crappyness of FreeBSD? Then slam FreeBSD big time and replace it with a Windows NT solution they just happen to have waiting in the wings.

    Ooooooohhh. Conspiracy I say. What do they have to lose if they do this? They get to slam FreeBSD and promote Windows NT all at the same time. And its fairly clear that most people don't really care if Hotmail goes down for a little bit anyways, nor care if its secure. (I'm thinking about the security problem they had a while back.)

    I just thought I'd share that nice juicy rumour I heard from my friend who works over at Hotmail and is involved in the decission making process. (He will of course go unamed and I will not provide anything to back up my claims.)

    But remember: don't blame things on stupidity and incompetence when you can blame things on conspiracy. Or is it the other way around? :)

    Oh, and I'm not dissing FreeBSD. I like it. So blah.

  • ; > DiG 8.2 > ; (1 server found) ;; res options: init recurs defnam dnsrch ;; got answer: ;; ->>HEADER- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 10 ;; flags: qr aa rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUERY SECTION: ;;, type = A, class = IN ;; AUTHORITY SECTION: COM. 1D IN SOA A.ROOT-SERVERS.NET. hostmaster.internic.NET. ( 1999122401 ; serial 30M ; refresh 15M ; retry 1W ; expiry 1D ) ; minimum ;; Total query time: 300 msec ;; FROM: argo to SERVER: ;; WHEN: Sat Dec 25 08:31:33 1999 ;; MSG SIZE sent: 30 rcvd: 107 There ya go.
  • I use Yahoo web-based e-mail whenever I'm on the road; it's easier than setting up POP stuff through "borrowed" network connections. I've never had a problem with it.

    They send you a little spam, but you can run it into a separate "bulk mail" mailbox and delete it all with a single click without ever even looking at it.

    - Robin

  • Check the hardware configuration page for - they have a LOT of money invested in their systems. How much would the needed E10k run?


  • I am in US, and going to doesn't work. But I notice that if I use Microsoft messenger, it works. Is this a move by Microsoft to force people to use their own IM?

  • Some nameservers have the domain cached.

    They should stop working in a few hours.
  • Geez... I and thought that typing fetchmail followed by pine was easy enough. Webmail is so slow anyhow. I don't know why people bother. It's not any easier that configuring fetchmail and pine, which is probalby quicker than signing up for crappy webmail service, and the only limit on your mailbox size is your HD. Flipping web mail. Educate people so they can run their own MX if they want. Long live DSL! Long live Sendmail! It aint that hard, honest guv.
  • by zyklone ( 8959 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @06:53AM (#1446027) Homepage
    Whoo, it appears that they might actually have forgotten to pay.
    I did a check on
    and they actually have an unpaid invoice.

    Domain Name
    Invoice Number 11395965
    Amount Due $35.00

    Billing Contact Information
    Gudmundson , Carolyn
    Phone: +1 (425) 882-xxx Fax: +1 (425) 936-7xxx
    Microsoft Corporation
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond , WA 98052
  • by pen ( 7191 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @06:55AM (#1446028)
    (Sorry, not my fault. Slashdot messed up and converted & lt; to the less than sign.)

    Hotmail really isn't down, it's only that the domain name returns a bad address. If you really need to log in, save the following as an HTML file on your computer and open it with a browser. Should work with any javascript-enabled browser. Tested with Netscape, IE, and Opera. Needless to say, that this is very insecure, and you shouldn't leave this file lying around.

    ---cut here---

    <meta http-equiv=Refresh content="0; url=">

    <body onload="document.pform.submit(); ">
    <form name="pform" action="" method="POST">

    <input type="hidden" name="login" value="[yourlogin]">
    <input type="hidden" name="passwd" value="[yourpass]">
    <input type="hidden" name="rru" value="/cgi-bin/folders">
    <input type="hidden" name="js" value="yes">

    ---cut here---


  • Here are a few decent choices:

    • HotPop [] - These give you a free POP3 and SMTP account, in exchange for "solicited mailings" (or basically, targeted and legal spam). The legal spam is infrequent, and the services is good. The only catch is that you must authenticate with POP before you mail out, which is a common anti-spam practice.
    • Asian City Webmail [] - These give you a really nice webmail interface, along with a bunch of domains. I chose
    • Netaddress [] - Just your average webmail. They also offer a POP3 account for a few bucks, which used to be free but undocumented. I haven't used them in a while, but they were good when I did.
    Generally, Hotmail has been pretty good to me, but I only use it as a spam account. For real email, I use a POP3 account on a friend's box.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 25, 1999 @07:04AM (#1446037)
    I just wanted to let you folks know, that (Microsoft) is down, because Microsoft didn't pay a $35 bill to Network Solutions. Hotmail uses "passport" services that reside within microsoft's "", which is no longer resolving from the Internet Root Servers, because of non-bill pay. Proof of this glitch can be found by going to and typing in "". It seems Amount Due is Amount Due, and even the big guys can't get away without paying their bills.
  • All 3 of my hotmail accounts are working/worked just fine. And I'm recieving mail, since I just got a confirmation mail for the MS Intillimouse Explorer I just bought with some Christmas money :)
  • Webmail has lots of features that fetchmail and pine do not...

    First of all, there are more web browsers installed across the globe than instances of fetchmail and pine.

    Secondly, for people who access email from a LOT of different locations (ie: me), like home, office, friends' homes, job locations, client locations, etc... it's a whole lot easier to be able to have your mail on the net, and not have to reconfigure every computer you're at... (a lot of my friends don't like that, and a lot of my clients AREN'T using *nix, pine, and fetchmail)

    Lastly (that I can think of at least), Travelling. It's quite easy to be able to check mail from any computer store with a net connection. Not so easy to carry your DSL modem around with ya is it? Also (last I checked) impossible to take the service with you.

    While POP3 may suit your needs better, there are lots of valid reasons why webmail makes sense to a lot of people, myself included.

    This brings me to an interesting question. What sort of retaliation do consumers have against Hotmail. They're flakiness has kind of, well, increased as of late. I got my hotmail account before MS bought em, and haven't bothered to switch email addresses... However, since the service is free, what kind of protection do we have. We are subjected to their banner ads, so, in a sense we are 'paying' for their service (The more they're down, the more we pay), tho it is essentially a free service... I dunno, obviously, we can't demand our money back???? Class action maybe?

  • You know what I think is funny? Microsoft's webpage is run on NT servers, and it's *never* been Slashdotted (or hacked either, AFAIK). But everyone loves quoting that NT can't handle Hotmail's services. Believe me, if it can handle the MSN & MS homepages, it can handle Hotmail. I think the problem was probably in the implementation they used... I guess we'll never know.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • The fact that it doesn't respond to pings is unremarkable. They may simply have the machine (or the firewall it's behind) blocking ICMP traffic. I set my companies firewall up that way.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by jarv ( 22298 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @07:16AM (#1446049)



  • It's a double-conspiracy! Slashdot is working to make FreeBSD look bad, so that Linux and NT look good. That way, when Andover releases their new hybrid Andoverix NT operating system, based on the Linux-kernel and the NT blue-screen it will be lovingly accepted by the awaiting public... Or maybe not.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • From HotPOP's page.. []

    HotPOP is not currently accepting new users. Please try again at a later time.

    Thank you.

  • If you have IE 5.0, open Outlook Express and go to the Tools menu and select the Accounts... option. Add your hotmail account and voila... You've got mail. Use the Send and Receive option on the Tools menu to download/send mail. I've been using that exclusively to send mail for so long I had totally forgotten that hotmail has a web address.

    Merry Xmas. Hope that I was of help.
    PS: Does anyone know if slashdot cause this []?
  • hey, moderate that back down again!! It is a DNS problem

    turns out that my lynx on the machine I run DNS on was not using itself for DNS

    It is a DNS problem for lookups on

  • A few people have asked abpout alternatives, well, I get my web hosting from some nice Linux geeks over at DreamHost. [] Well, they let us switch our email provider over to a custom provider, one of which is Big MailBox. [] I haven't used it, but I have a friend who runs his collage radio station's web page with DreamHost and the email with this Big MailBox deal, and he raves about it. Hope this is useful, I hate webmail, so I have never paid it much heed.
  • Sorry to say this but I can't help it... Are you an idiot or just lazy?

    The post you responded to not only has a URL to go to, but instructions on how to check the facts yourself.
    Maybe you need it to be hyperlinked to make it easier for you so you don't have to strain yourself with cutting and pasting the URL into your browser.
    Click here [] and type It will show that there is a $35 fee due on the domain name. Twit.
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @08:16AM (#1446065)
    This message is for "Trailer Trash".

    If you've indeed payed the bill, I beg you, please get a hold of someone in the media. This could be such a fantastic headline. and be sure to refer to yourself as a linux user. please please. If you really payed it. use the publicity.

  • Well, you want to know the truth??? You can't handle the truth...

    I hope all of you Linux-loving, Windows-hating, console-using, hackers are happy. I've run out of money, and can't afford the passport domain any longer at this time.

    You may wonder why the richest man in the world can't afford it right??? Well, you remember that email I sent out regarding our email tracking software??? Well, needless to say, more people actually believed it than I thought would. It actually got onto our Hotmail servers, and seemed to take a life of its own from there. Nobody had to forward it, it just 'spread'.

    Anyway, after having paid out to all recipients and forwarders of the email, I'm a little short. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

    Oh well, if nothing else, this is a great excuse to finally scrap those blasted BSD servers, and put in Windows 2000 Premium. You thought service was bad now??? Muwaahahahahahahaaaa........

    This is not the last of me...

    Bill Gates
  • Well. NSI does not have the best record for actually getting out bills lately. I have two domains at work that were up for renewal in October. In September, I got the "watch for our bill in the mail" emails from NSI. So I did. Nothing came. Waited. On one day I got four bills. None of the them were for the two domains that were expiring. They were for four completley unrelated domains that didn't belong to us, but somehow had my contact information on the bill. I checked whois on the 4 domains and our 2 domains and everything looked OK. Called NSI. "Oh yes", they say, "we're having billing problems. Everything will be straightened out. You won't be cut off." So we get the service clone's name and wait. Over the next month we get three more bills for domains we don't own. Finally, six weeks after the domain expired, we get a bill, but it's not a normal bill, it's a "pay now or you're cut off bill" and the cutoff date is two days before the bill was mailed. More phone calls. Everything was eventualy straightened out, but now one of my tasks for the coming year is to see if it's possible to move existing domains to a new registrar. Anyone know if you can?
  • Nope, they go to a web interface where stories are put on hold, posted, or deleted. Sort of a holding chamber.

    As for e-mailing without having Hotmail available, damn near every ISP on earth gives you a free e-mail account, and I have probably 10 web-based ones as well...
  • by Issue9mm ( 97360 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @08:59AM (#1446092)
    They do have subfolders... All in all, it's a pretty nice service... Really.

  • Michael Chaney (of []) has payed the late 35.00 domain fee [] for micros~1. Join me in congradulating Michael for his generosity and charity in this holiday season.

    Also earge( Michael to contact someone in the media regarding this story. It would make a wonderful headline.

    "Generous Linux user pays past-due domain fee"
    "Bill Gates recieves charity from generous Linux user"
    "Worlds richest man doesn't pay his bills"
    ..the list goes on. .

  • by Trailer Trash ( 60756 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @07:58AM (#1446096) Homepage
    Hey, I paid it for them. Merry Christmas, Microsoft.

    Your transaction was successful. Payment has been posted for the domain.

    ------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------
    Details of your transaction are given below. You may print this page for future reference.

    Card Type: MASTERCARD
    Card Number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Amount Charged (USD): 35.00
    Approval Code: A 00 074598 MCCJ5QTM5 12250001 Y Y

    ------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------

    List of Domains
    Count Domain Name Invoice Number Amount Due
    1 11395965 35.00

    ------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------
    Thank you for using the On-Line Payment System. If you wish to pay for another domain, click on the Start button. If you have completed your transactions, click on Quit to exit the system and visit the Network Solutions Home Page.
  • Geez... I and thought that typing fetchmail followed by pine was easy enough.

    I use fetchmail, but I have never cared much for pine or elm (I use the good old fashioned command line mail reader). The other thing I use yahoo mail for occasionally is reading email when I am on vacation and happen to be able to find a kiosk with a web browser. I did that at EPCOT this spring when I was vacationing in Florida. Now that I have DSL I will probably set up my own webmail access on my local web server, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

    Webmail is so slow anyhow. I don't know why people bother.

    I use yahoo mail mostly so I can have an email address that isn't so easily traceable directly to me like if I gave out my pop box at my ISP or an email address to one of my home boxes on DSL.

    It's not any easier that configuring fetchmail and pine, which is probalby quicker than signing up for crappy webmail service, and the only limit on your mailbox size is your HD.

    I've never had problems with filling up my yahoo mail box, then again, I don't use it for a lot of really important stuff.

    Flipping web mail. Educate people so they can run their own MX if they want. Long live DSL! Long live Sendmail! It aint that hard, honest guv.

    It's not easy/hard that is the deal for me. Web mail fills a certain set of niches that are different from what I use my local mail service for.

  • by Ma´djeurtam ( 101190 ) on Saturday December 25, 1999 @08:09AM (#1446101) Homepage Journal
    Hotmail is down and everyone in the world seems to be annoyed. I think it's quite sad that slowly but surely, webmail replaces pop3/imap mail.

    Five years ago, when I began using the Internet, only pop3 mail was available. These pop3 accounts were quite costy, but they worked. My university "gave" me my first pop3 mail for free, though.

    Then, several companies began to give pop3 accounts for free, in exchange of some data for their files. They were slightly slower than those costy accounts (the bandwith was very weak), but, hey... that was free.

    Then came Hotmail & Co. Banners, ads, mail stored only on the servers, poor functionality (filters, and all 'advanced' functions of any pop3 mail client are missing). But above all, a phenomenal waste of bandwith due to the ads, the fact that everytime you want to consult a mail or your address book, the data must be reloaded, etc. I hate wasting bandwith. I hate when my mother checks her webmail on my computer ! ;)
    With pop3 mail, sending a mail takes 3 or 4 KB for the entire process. How many KB does it take with webmail ?

    Now, it's more or less impossible to find free pop3 accounts. Even Internet access provider begin to give webmail instead of real mail to their customers. Does it mean that, in a few years, every mail account will be a webmail account ?

    P.S. : I can't understand why so many people believe that webmail is easier to use than pop3/imap mail. When traveling, it's so easy to use a simple telnet (every dumb Win95+ machine has a telnet client which works well with pine) or, even easier, a web gateway like Endymion MailMan []. Same layout than hotmail, without the ads !

  • at this [] and check the payment really did clear.. hehheh...


  • Try nettaxi or zxmail instead. They offer pop3 as well as web based access, with no spam yet.

    Just a satisfied user.
  • I don't own it, I just paid for it. And even though I have the "receipt" screen here, someone at Microsoft probably received an mail thanking them for the payment.

    This might be interesting when everybody gets back from the holiday break.

  • What makes you so sure that Hotmail is running BSD? Or that Slashdot is running Linux? Yeah, they could be falsely IDing themselves, but I doubt it. As for your second point: so what? Most heavily-trafficked web-sites do run as clusters, for obvious performance and reliablity reasons.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

"Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything." -- Russell Baker