Microsoft has admitted that it is experiencing problems with the rename feature that allows users to change the email address they use to sign into their Microsoft email account.

According to a post on the Microsoft Community forum, users that try to change their Microsoft account email addresses are receiving the following message: “The email address associated with your Microsoft account can’t be changed.”

Microsoft admits that the rename feature has not been available since 18 December. “Our engineering team has identified several issues with rename and has temporarily disabled the feature while they investigate,” said one forum moderator.

“We are engaged on the issue and working to re-enable rename as soon as possible. We do not have a date yet, but will provide an update by Monday, January 7th. We appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvenience.”

This is just the latest in a string of service issues reported by users of Microsoft's webmail services since the company began the transition from Hotmail to last summer. Only today, monitoring website downrightnow reported that Hotmail was having service trouble.

Microsoft was contacted by Techworld for comment but did not reply in time for the publication of this article.

In October, Techworld reported that Hotmail users around the world were having problems logging in to their accounts. Users who attempted to login received the following error message: “Something went wrong and we cannot log you in right now. Try again later”.

“I've tried everything suggested by the Hotmail team and others having problems and its not working. It is ruining my project I am at a loss and wish I could sue Hotmail for destroying all I am working for!” said one angry Techworld reader.

Another wrote: “The only thing they will win by this situation is to make their members avoid hotmail and deactivate their accounts; they wont get the users of Yahoo and Google!!!”

Microsoft hopes that its webmail service will eventually replace Hotmail. The new service integrates with Exchange ActiveSync, so that accounts can be synchronised across a variety of devices.

It also includes Office Web Apps, the online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, along with the SkyDrive cloud storage service.