Microsoft struggles to keep web site running
Softy keeps customers waiting
Lab Notes February 16th, 2009

Corporate customers and software developers were unable to access Microsoft’s MSDN benefits portal for much of today. The portal provides MSDN subscribers with access to downloads of Microsoft products and license keys. Although Microsoft has not issued a statement about the problem, the problem came to light in The Hypervisor Lab when one of our staff tried to access the MSDN download site to obtain an evaluation copy of Windows Server 2008.

We call this Microsoft's sorry web page.

We call this Microsoft's sorry web page.

The normally helpful Microsoft website today responded to clicks on many of its menu items with a message saying “Sorry, we were unable to service your request.” We phoned the Microsoft MSDN helpline, where a very helpful person working the support lines told us, “A lot of customers cannot get access to the benefits portal.”

Although they could get to the front page, clicking on the link to download software and license keys resulted in the sorry error message. For our part we found service on the web site was intermittent. While we saw the error message most of the times that we tried to access the portal pages, we were occasionally able to make a connection. The MSDN site is probably running on Windows Server 2008 software.

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