Microsoft Criticized for Shoddy Spaces Launch

Microsoft was criticized by users of its Windows Live Spaces blogging service after the company encountered several problems that locked some out of their sites for as long as a day after its release.

"We know we disappointed a bunch of you with the issues we had in our rollout last night," Spaces program manager Greg Phipps said in a blog post Wednesday. "We had a bunch of people working hard and late last night to address these issues that did not show up in any of our test environments."

According to Microsoft, the company has several issues still needing to be fixed, including a broken stats page, legacy emoticons not rendering correctly, e-mail publishing issues, and Firefox compatibility problems with the new Friends Explorer.

Phipps invited users to respond with their feedback on the service, and as of Friday afternoon over 100 users had responded, many not happy with the new update.

"Funny these are very similar the problems you encountered when you started Spaces in the first place," a user named Walkingman48 responded. "I guess you don't learn from past mistakes. You might also look into making the place more compatible with alternate browsers. You know about Firefox right?"

Some even called for the return of the MSN Spaces version of the site, which lead Spaces product manager Mike Torres said would not be possible.

"Guys, we can't support two services (MSN & Live) so our goal is to make Live so good, you don't want to go back to MSN anymore," Torres wrote. "Change is hard - but sometimes it's for the best. We really do feel that putting all of our resources behind this new service is the right thing to do in the long run."

Others came to the defense of the service, and thanked the team for their work.

"I must say I am surprised at so many negative comments since the release. I think the new layout is much better and more professional looking since it's now centered (not aligned left)," a user named Elaine wrote. "Yes there are still bugs to work out but all in all I think you guys did a great job!"

As of Friday afternoon, a check by BetaNews revealed that much of the Windows Live Spaces service was running normally.

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