Microsoft has been forced to field complaints from irate Hotmail users who have incurred major problems after a recent overhaul.

The company announced last week that all accounts had been moved to the new version of Hotmail. Not long after, users started to complain that fundamental functionality was missing.

People who posted complaints on Microsoft's Hotmail forums then received some unorthodox explanations for the problems.

"If you are using High Contrast display mode in Windows, you may have difficulty sending mail," said a Microsoft support representative in answer to one query.

The solution is designed to disable high contrast settings, but it is not made clear why such a seemingly unrelated software setting could have such an effect on Hotmail.

Microsoft is also blaming "older browsers" such as Safari 3 or Firefox 2.5 for the problems, although it supports Internet Explorer 6.

The firm also took the surprising move of recommending Google's Chrome browser instead of its own for those using mobile broadband to access Hotmail.

In a rare admission, Microsoft took the blame for Hotmail running a script which it said causes the browser to run slowly.

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