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Culture

Web Companions can't phone home

While Microsoft's Web site outages were its most visible problem this week, the company also is struggling with a glitch that has prevented new owners of the MSN Web Companion Internet appliances from launching service. Ordinarily when the units are first turned on, the machines, which are made by Compaq, Emachines and Vestel, dial a toll-free number and get a local number to establish Internet service. However, for some reason that process has been not working since at least Thursday. A Microsoft representative said Friday the company is looking into the problem.

    While Microsoft's Web site outages were its most visible problem this week, the company also is struggling with a glitch that has prevented new owners of the MSN Web Companion Internet appliances from launching service. Ordinarily when the units are first turned on, the machines, which are made by Compaq, Emachines and Vestel, dial a toll-free number and get a local number to establish Internet service. However, for some reason that process has been not working since at least Thursday. A Microsoft representative said Friday the company is looking into the problem.