MSN Messenger Service Mostly Restored

SEATTLE — Microsoft said Tuesday that its MSN Messenger service was mostly restored Tuesday after a weeklong outage, but warned that some users may have lost their personal address books.

A technical glitch left about one-third of users disconnected or without access to the address books, called “buddy lists” or “contact lists.”

MSN Vice President Rick Bray said the outage caused some permanent damage and a “small number” of users lost the lists. The exact number of customers affected was not given.

It was the second major outage this year for MSN Messenger, a free service for sending instant text messages across the Internet. A February outage came after a series of glitches and a hacker attack that prevented many people from accessing the company’s Web site.

MSN Messenger is in bitter competition with AOL Instant Messenger, the industry leader, and Yahoo!’s messenger service. MSN Messenger has about 18.4 million users in the United States, according to Internet research firm Jupiter Media Metrix.

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