Microsoft said late Wednesday that it was to blame for a fault that resulted in many of its websites being inaccessible to millions of internet users.
To print the issued statement would take too much space, so suffice to say Microsoft admitted someone changed things on some of its routers, devices that direct internet traffic, which went catastrophically wrong.
"This was an operational error, and not the result of any issue with Microsoft or third-party products nor the security of our networks. Microsoft regrets any inconvenience caused to customers due to this issue," the company added.
Microsoft said the fault was rectified a surprising 22 1/2 hours afterwards. The company, "immediately saw a massive improvement in the [name server] network," when the settings were restored, it said. Not surprising – anything's better than nothing in this game.
The problems hit a number of the internet's most popular sites including the company's main Microsoft.com site, web-based e-mail site Hotmail.com, web portal MSN.com, news site MSNBC.com, travel and vacation site Expedia.com, online car sales and information service CarPoint.com and the Encarta.com reference site.
The problems also proved frustrating for the nearly 60 million Hotmail subscribers around the world, many of whom were cut off from their email.