That “Important Service Announcement” from Msgr? Ignore it (doh)

Earlier today a number of Messenger users received an instant message from the Messenger Service staff:

Important service announcement: As part of a recent system enhancement, we need you to change your e-mail address to continue signing in to the Windows Live(TM) Messenger Service.

To ensure that your access is not blocked and to learn more, go to http://support.microsoft.com/gp/Messenger/en

The link goes to a Microsoft Help and Support page that details changing your IM address for Office Live Communications Server 2005 SP1.  However the whole thing was a big mistake, according to a post on the Windows Live Team blog:

Earlier today, Messenger customers may have received an instant message that looked like this:

clip_image001_thumb[8] News

We sincerely apologize, but this was accidentally sent out.  If you received this notification today, please ignore it.  You will be able to continue to use your current e-mail address, and there is no reason to make any changes. 

If you have already clicked the link, there is no harm to you.  You should have been told that your “Windows Live ID can’t be changed at this time” because there is no need for the change.

These service notifications are only used for urgent issues but unfortunately, somebody made a mistake that caused this message to be sent out.  We will definitely be reviewing our process to make sure we avoid such mistakes in the future.

Again, we’re very sorry for any confusion that may have been caused.

A number of angry comments are accumulating on the blog post, and one commenter has what seems to be a good idea:

May I make a suggestion that the same method that was used to blast us all with this message be used to retract it? I just spent an hour trying to figure out if this was a spoof and finally (thank goodness!) found this.