So this is why I couldn't check hotmail yesterday:

Bragg said problem appeared to be affecting people who were trying to log on to the system. Those who were able to get on the system did not appear to be having problems sending and receiving e-mail, she said.

What this story is obviously missing is what this would have meaned had Microsoft's Passport service -- the part that lets you log into hotmail -- would have gained the acceptence MS wanted. That workday of inability to login to check free (ha, Freudian'd "fee mail" first) mail would have meant a day of no online purchases for many major companies.