Some Hotmail users haven't been able to properly reset their PSN account information as the service comes back online, and they're pointing fingers at Sony's chief rival.
On Saturday, Sony was finally able to gradually restore functionality to its PlayStation Network after what felt like a bazillion weeks of outage (but was really more like three). Understandably, many users now intend to change the password on their PSN account to prevent another hack - but some of them are saying that Microsoft is intervening to stop that from happening.
According to posts on the Windows Live Help site, more than a few Hotmail users are claiming that they have not been able to receive any emails from Sony and PSN since functionality was restored - with some saying that they have been waiting for as many as 40 or 50 hours without getting their mail. Seeing as how the "reset password" links in the Sony emails expire within 24 hours of being sent, that is naturally more than a bit problematic.
Given that the users claim to have no problem receiving emails on other services like Google's Gmail - and that Hotmail is operated by MSN and thereby Microsoft - more than a few are claiming that this is a ploy by Redmond to sabotage Sony's desperate attempts to get PSN back on its feet. "It's a disguisting [sic] way of taking down Sony and PSN like this," wrote one user. "[Microsoft knows] they can't compete with [Sony] so they just backstab them after they had to put down the servers. That's just weak..."
While users are completely free to concoct as many conspiracy theories as they want - and this is admittedly a coincidence that reflects a bit poorly on Microsoft - there are other possible explanations that don't revolve around intentional sabotage. After blogging site LiveJournal suffered heavy DDoS attacks last month, several mail providers - like Hotmail - blocked email from the site since they feared it could have been compromised by spammers.
Similarly, those at Hotmail could potentially have added PSN emails to an auto-block list during the outage out of fears that the compromised network could be used to trick users into thinking spam or virus-laden emails were authentic.
Or it could just be a weird coincidence in technology. Or Microsoft could in fact be up to something shady (though personally, I don't think that one's very likely).
Maybe Sony should start its own email service and then block Xbox Live emails. It might not actually accomplish anything, but it'd sure be funny, eh?
(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)