The Obama White House was so 1996 yesterday: the new administration’s e-mail crashed, forcing the president’s aides to rely on cell phones, text messaging and (gasp) paper to communicate.

The White House e-mail system uses Microsoft Outlook, and a server outage caused the collapse, an unidentified staffer told The Washington Post. The glitch hit the press office, first lady’s office and other departments, but by this morning was resolved, according to The Washington Times.

"Our apologies if you've e-mailed any of us in the last two and a half hours," press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters yesterday. "Our e-mail system is not working so well. So our apologies on that, and we'll endeavor to get you information from earlier in the day, hopefully in a little bit more of a timely manner, if we can get the e-mail to work."

A White House spokesperson didn't have more details on the outage this morning. We'll update you when we get more info.

The e-mail snafu hit a president famous for his Blackberry addiction, who campaigned via MySpace and Twitter, and who unveiled a snazzier looking White House Web site as he was being inaugurated. It no doubt caused a stir among staffers, too, who are accustomed to doing business via e-mail, their Apple Mac laptops and iPhones but arrived at the White House last week to discover desktop PCs running on six-year-old Microsoft software.
The transition, Obama spokesman Bill Burton told The Washington Post then, is "kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari."

Image by Boricuaeddie via Wikimedia Commons