Microsoft working to fix Xbox Live access issues

Some users are having difficulties accessing the Xbox Live online gaming service

An undetermined number of users of Microsoft's Xbox Live gaming service are having difficulties accessing the online gaming service, and the company said on Friday that it is working to resolve the issue.

According to the Xbox Live status page, users may have difficulties signing on to Xbox Live from the Xbox gaming console and from the Xbox website.

"We are aware of the problem and are working to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience," Microsoft said on the status page.

Microsoft first posted a message on Twitter at 11:20 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time informing users about the service problems . At around 12:45 p.m., Microsoft posted another message on Twitter asking users to "hang in there" and that the company was investigating the issue.

Users may also have difficulties accessing Zune.net, from where users can buy music and movies for smartphones, PCs and tablets, according to the Xbox status update page.

Xbox Live is experiencing "temporary service issues," said a Microsoft spokeswoman in an email.

"Our engineering teams are working quickly to fix the problem and we expect service to be back to full performance as soon as possible," the spokeswoman said, asking users to visit an Xbox.com status update page for continued updates.

The spokeswoman did not immediately comment on how many users are affected by the issue.

In responding to a customer question on Twitter, the Xbox support team at 1:04 p.m. EDT said it had no "current ETA" on when the service would be fixed.

Gaming service providers are also investigating the Xbox Live service issue and keeping users updated via Twitter. EA Sports left a message at 2:14 p.m. EDT on its FIFA soccer Twitter account indicating that some Xbox Live users were finally being allowed to log in. Some users also tweeted they were able to log into Xbox Live.

Microsoft originally entered the gaming console market in 2001 with the Xbox. The company introduced the Xbox 360 in 2005, and has sold millions of units of the gaming console to date. The Xbox Live service had approximately 40 million members as of January, and the service is available in 35 countries.

This is not the first time an online gaming network has had downtime issues. A hack into Sony's PlayStation Network took down parts of the online gaming service for close to a month last year, and personal information of more than 77 million users was compromised during the incident.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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