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Microsoft Money blackout approaching day four

A server glitch has shut out a "subset" of Microsoft Money users from accessing their online financial files.

Some Microsoft Money users continued to vent their frustrations Thursday over a server glitch that has prevented them from accessing their online personal finance files for nearly four days.

"I'm just glad I don't run a business with the software," one Money user wrote in a posting to a message board. "I can't believe it's been a few days and the problem still isn't fixed."

"Please help soon," another posting read. "I know I have bills coming up."

Microsoft confirmed that some users of its Money software have been locked out of their files since Monday afternoon. Money's servers are not recognizing ID information from a group of consumers, said Goca Micic, group marketing manager for Microsoft's home retail division. "Other consumers coming into Money accounts haven't experienced the problem and will not at this point."

Micic would not say how many people were affected, nor did she offer a time frame for when the glitch would be fixed.

The issue stems from a problem with Money's servers, which were unable to recognize usernames and passwords through the software giant's Passport authentication and log-in service. However, Microsoft denied that MSN Passport was the source of the glitch, noting that other sites using Passport, such as Hotmail, were accessible during the outage.

Microsoft said users affected by the glitch tried signing into their accounts between Monday and Tuesday morning. Those who were shut out at that time remain unable to access their files. However, Money users who did not log in during those periods can still get in.

While Money is software that resides on a PC's hard drive, the service also integrates online access to information and services. Users can update their personal finance files onto the Web and access the information from PCs away from home. Many users upload potentially sensitive financial information and pay bills through the software.