A variety of online services from Microsoft Corp suffered outages for several hours on Tuesday across Western Europe and the Eastern United States, according to the company's technical support sites.
Among the services affected were Microsoft's email service Outlook.com, its Office 365 online software, Xbox Live gaming service and Skype, according to their official websites.
An Office 365 technical support site said the issue, which prevented some Outlook.com users from gaining access to their mailboxes, began around 1057 GMT on Tuesday.
"We're investigating an issue in which some users may be unable to access or use Outlook.com services or feature," a notice on the Office 365 site said (here). Later, as the service returned, it said "Everything is up and running."
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
XBox Live's Status site said access to services remained limited as of 1355 GMT, but Skype's status site said that issues users were having signing in to Skype with their Microsoft accounts had been fully resolved in a posting at 1420 GMT.
Outlook.com complaints numbering in the thousands at online outage reporting site DownDetector.com peaked around 1400 GMT. On Twitter, the hashtag #hotmail was trending in the early afternoon in Britain as users complained of being locked out. Outlook was previously known as hotmail.
As the outage continued, there were user complaints in the Eastern United States as the workday began there, based on DownDetector.com's website.
Microsoft account services were largely restored by 1600 GMT, based on company technical notices on the Office 365 site and declining volumes of user complaints on DownDetector.com.
(Reporting by Wout Vergauwen and Eric Auchard. Editing by Jane Merriman)