IN BRIEF : Windows phone lines jammed

A record one million copies of Windows 95 software were sold in the first four days following its much-hyped launch, Microsoft said last night.

Calls for technical support, at more than 20,000 a day, were also running at record levels, and the company acknowledged that many calls had been left unanswered. Some callers who did get through faced delays of up to an hour. Many buyers found that they had to reconfigure systems to enable existing software to work correctly. Internet and bulletin board operators also reported a high level of calls for help; a special "Windows 95 crash" newsgroup on the Internet attracted users round the clock.

Microsoft shares fell by $4 in reaction to the problems. Deborah Willingham, vice president of support at Microsoft, apologised for the problems, but added that the company had 1,600 people working on support worldwide.