Outlook.com, Microsoft’s immensely popular webmail platform, has recently suffered a major downtime. The email service remained inaccessible for a number of users across the globe for a few days, starting August 14.

But the good news is that Redmond has already taken care of the problem, and repaired the service. The company claims that access has been fully restored and users are now able to access their inboxes without experiencing any trouble.

The technology titan has also issued an apology for all consumers who couldn’t send and receive messages for the past three days, while at the same time providing details on what exactly caused the downtime.

In a message posted on its service status page, the company explained that this problem arose due to a glitch caused by a caching service. Here is the message, for those of you that want all the juicy (read technical) details:

“This incident was a result of a failure in a caching service that interfaces with devices using Exchange ActiveSync, including most smart phones. The failure caused these devices to receive an error and continuously try to connect to our service.

This resulted in a flood of traffic that our services did not handle properly, with the effect that some customers were unable to access their Outlook.com email and unable to share their SkyDrive files via email.”

Microsoft has also issued an apology for all its users — many of whom have expressed their frustration regarding the outage on the company’s support forums:

“We want to apologize to everyone who was affected by the outage, and we appreciate the patience you have shown us as we worked through the issues.”

There you have it, friends and foes.

Outlook.com is one of Microsoft’s most important products in its fight against Google. It is very often right at the center of Redmond’s Scroogled campaign, which encourages users to drop Gmail and move to Outlook.com, as it is a service that, in Microsoft’s own words, really cares about user privacy.

Anyway, the service will in all likelihood suffer an outage again (such is the nature of technology, particularly cloud technology). But let’s just hope it is not anytime soon.

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  • DCJason

    Wow….I use Outlook.com for my email (and synced to my 920) and didn’t even notice an issue. I guess I was one of the lucky ones. Stuff happens and it is good that MS apologized with an explanation. Good customer service.