I’d been using the latest version of Windows Live Messenger 9 (WLM) for the past few months. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t give me any trouble at all although it was essentially still in Beta (the final release is due sometime early next year). However, at the start of this week, I found that I couldn’t sign in. The error code returned was 80070057; it mentioned that the email address I used to sign in was invalid, which was rubbish since I’ve been signing in with that address for as long as I’ve been doing instant messaging.
So being a Big Blue Ball staffer myself meant that I should be able to troubleshoot these pesky gremlins, correct? Signed in with my teenage kid’s hotmail account, and that was successful. Signed into Web Messenger with my own account, that turned out alright too. This meant that it probably didn’t have anything to do with my computer, it was in all likelihood a cock-up at the Microsoft server end. Just to give the big M a break, remember that their servers have to “serve” literally millions of WLM accounts, 24/7.
My good friend Doris to the rescue. She informed me that there were reports of this WLM outage being posted on the Net. Try as I might, I could find very little information concerning Error 80070057; of course I could have written to Messenger Support and told them about it. Nah, I’d probably just receive a generic reply. According to Doris, it could be due to the fact that they pushed out an update for WLM9, and that could have caused the hiccup.
What irks me is that the big M has remained generally quiet about this problem. That seems to be the way they’ve done it in the past, and usually it’s been left to other websites and forums to bring out these annoying issues. What can I say or do, after all the darn thing is free, right? Anyway, I got pretty fed up after not being able to sign in for four days. Bit the bullet, uninstalled WLM9 (sniff, I actually liked it), downloaded and installed version 8.5. Signing in was immediate.I’ll stick with 8.5 for another week or two, thank you very much.
The moral of the story is: don’t always jump the gun and believe that the fault is at your end (at least give it a 50-50 chance). I’ve heard horror stories of people reformatting and reinstalling Windows, just because of problems with WLM. It gets even more nerve-wrecking and frustrating to discover that the problem is still there after doing all these drastic measures. So what can you do? Join Big Blue Ball! It’s where you can find answers, suggestions, etc. for 99.9% of your IM problems. The staff (including myself, ahem) are helpful and friendly, there’s lots to see and do besides the IM stuff. And did I mention, registering is free, of course. Kudos to Jeff Hester, Mr. Big Blue Ball himself, for starting the BBB forums many years ago.