updated 2/25/2005 3:42:36 PM ET 2005-02-25T20:42:36

About 200,000 customers who pay Microsoft Corp. for premium Hotmail e-mail accounts have been experiencing problems including slowdowns and an inability to access some e-mails, the company said Friday.

The problems began Tuesday and were being resolved Friday, said Brooke Richardson, lead product manager for Microsoft's MSN online division. Richardson said the glitch was caused by a server problem, and that the system was not attacked.

Earlier this week, some customers who pay for services such as Hotmail Plus and MSN Premium complained that they couldn't see some e-mails, had trouble logging in and were experiencing slowness. Richardson said no data was lost, but some people were temporarily unable to access all their e-mails.

(MSNBC content is distributed by MSN. MSNBC itself is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

By Friday, Richardson said the situation had "stabilized" but some customers were still experiencing slowness. She said it wasn't yet clear when the situation would be completely resolved.

Redmond-based Microsoft has about 190 million Hotmail customers, mostly using the company's free service.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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