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Microsoft's Handling of E-mail So Poor That It Might Get Dumped; Microsoft’s VLSC Broken for Months

White rope



Summary: Microsoft's business is hanging on the balance as reliability issues lead customers to exploring other options

OVER a year ago we assembled a few dozens of references about Microsoft's failure in E-mail. Exchange is a sure path to data loss, Hotmail is a nest of SPAM, and OneCare has deleted people's entire mailboxes. These are just some of the many mail issues that we've covered here over the years.



According to this new report, Microsoft is in trouble after another major crash.

The crash resulted from a Microsoft server error that affected schools across the U.S., in the United Kingdom and Australia, Division of Information Technology Director Terry Robb said. The system has experienced delays and other issues this semester, sometimes leaving students unable to send or receive e-mail.


According to another new article, these crashes are a recurring problem.

In fall 2009, students switched to Microsoft Outlook Live for student Webmail. Not only was there a litany of problems during and shortly after students made the switch, but Webmail completely shut down this week.

Students couldn't check their e-mail Monday evening or Tuesday morning due to problems with the Microsoft server. The server still had issues even after coming back online. Some students experienced delays with e-mail, and the e-mails of others were still offline.

Students faced a slowdown in e-mail delivery during February.

[...]

This week's crash was absolutely unacceptable and will hopefully renew the discussion of switching. Although there were problems with the last switch, the Division of Information Technology and students will be better prepared for them after going through the issues once already. DoIT will be better prepared to curb problems with the switch and better guide students to do so.


Microsoft has become almost synonymous with serious reliability problems, a recent example of which being VLSC [1, 2]. It was down for about a month and is still not functioning properly. Mary Jo Foley seems to indicate that it has already lasted for several months and there is still no permanent solution.

Microsoft partners and customers who have been complaining for months about problems accessing their software due to problems with Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), take heart. Microsoft is preparing to roll out a “version 3.5″ of the site, incorporating new fixes and updates, before the end of April.


As usual, Microsoft finds some external factors to blame. A classic example is Microsoft blaming BSoDs on "third parties" and blaming users for Windows Vista's utter failure. Here we have Microsoft blaming plug-ins for the fact that Internet Explorer 8 is flaky [1, 2].

Add-ons account for more than 70 percent of browser crashes in Internet Explorer 8, according to Microsoft.


Microsoft used similar types of statistics to defend Vista. Rather than address practical issues it resorts to blame shifting. This is never a good sign.

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