SPOT Watch Service Blinks

Microsoft's MSN Direct service experiences its first official outage since it went live in January.

Customers of Microsoft Corp.'s new MSN Direct service experienced a major service interruption on Thursday, as the service's Web site displayed error messages and many users' watches received no new data. Users attempting to make changes to their personalization settings received error messages and were unable to synchronize their watch's calendar with their desktop. Postings on the message boards of Web site grumbled about day-old stock quotes and problems receiving news stories. One user wrote, "All [my] stock quotes are from yesterday."

On the same message board, Microsoft's Lead Program Manager for MSN Direct, Joel Grossman, told customers that Microsoft's "operations team is actively investigating." A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed at 5:30 EST: "There was a temporary outage of the network but it seems to be back now with the exception of Outlook [synchronization]." MSN Direct is the service that delivers content to SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) devices. The first of these devices are wristwatches from Fossil and Suunto. The MSN Direct system transmits data over FM-radio subcarriers in major U.S. and Canadian markets. MSN Direct and the first SPOT watches were launched during this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January.

News source: Microsoft Watch

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