Microsoft’s instant messaging develops glitch

By : |February 8, 2001 0

Microsoft’s online problems carried into a second week as the software
giant said that during the past week it has been experiencing problems with
servers that handle the company’s instant messaging system. Earlier, Microsoft
had denied the instant messaging system was affected by technical problems.
Andries van Dam, a member of Microsoft’s research technical advisory board, said
the company’s recent online service problems show that Internet software is
still a vulnerable field.

"It serves as a wake-up call, not just for Microsoft but for the
software industry, that everything is just extremely fragile." He added
that Microsoft has reasons to be more concerned about Internet security and
service reliability than other companies. "When a game crashes, nobody gets
hurt. If an e-commerce program crashes, the ripple effects of mission-critical
software being brought to its knees are grave, and I think Microsoft as well as
every other serious Web producer is still learning how to build robust
mission-critical software.”

For Microsoft the recent rash of online service troubles couldn’t have come
at a worse time as the company has just launched a $200 million media blitz
touting the reliability of its software. Microsoft also announced it is changing
the way its MSN subscribers can use the company’s online long-distance
telephone service. Until now, MSN Messenger and Net2Phone have allowed MSN
subscribers to make unlimited free long distance phone calls over the Internet.
Starting this week, those calls will be limited to five minutes. The calls will
be discontinued, although users will be able to re-connect for another five

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