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Never explain, never apologize: Microsoft silent on Outlook.com email server grief

Connected accounts can't get messages – no big deal, right?

By Shaun Nichols, 6 Oct 2016

A tweak to Microsoft's Outlook.com cloud service has blocked a good number of people from accessing their messages.

Specifically, the baffling and unannounced change affects Outlook.com users with connected accounts: these are email accounts hosted on third-party servers (such as a company's private server or an ISP's mail server) that are accessed via the Outlook.com cloud. People with this setup are no longer able to send or receive mail through Redmond's webmail service.

Reg reader David Barrett, who runs an internet-facing server for his friends and a UK health charity, said the issue has left those users who run Outlook.com with outside mail systems unable to get their email for days now.

"It happened around the end of last week/over the weekend and seems to have been a gradual rollout," he told us.

"From what I can tell, some of my users are still unaffected, while the person sitting next to them doesn't work and has a revamped UI."

Other users in Microsoft's Outlook support forum have reported having similar problems with the service post-update.

"After the new version was installed, I am not receiving any of my emails from my connected account," notes Keli. "I checked all of my settings and they are correct."

Barrett said he was scheduled to chat to a Microsoft rep on Thursday about the problem, but he never got the promised call from tech support.

"[The service] apparently briefly came back up this morning with a load of test emails from the last week going out," he noted, "but by the time I logged in it had stopped again, so they must be doing something."

The Register has asked Microsoft about the issue, but after a day of waiting, we too have been left in the dark by Redmond.

Should we hear back, we will post an update. ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing