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Msn E-Mail Service Upgraded, Restored

Microsoft Network’s electronic-mail service was mostly restored Friday after a 1-1/2-day shutdown to double the system’s capacity.

No messages were lost during the shutdown, and they will be relayed as normal operations resume. The service was expected to be back in full swing this morning at the latest, Microsoft Corp. officials said.

MSN, which has 2.5 million subscribers worldwide, added new computers and other high-tech equipment so its network can handle additional online users and avoid bottlenecks. Use of MSN’s e-mail service has been growing steadily.

“The huge influx of people using e-mail and coming on line … has changed the way people are using e-mail,” said Jessica Ostrow, a group product manager for MSN, a unit of Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp.

More and more subscribers are attaching material such as photographs and documents, which take up a lot of space on MSN’s network, she said.

She said that Microsoft doesn’t expect any more e-mail problems after it adds capacity.

MSN, like No. 1 online service America Online, offers unlimited online service and e-mail access for a flat monthly rate. AOL has struggled with overloaded systems since shortly after it introduced its unlimited-access plan in December.

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