The launch of Microsoft’s revamped blogging and social networking service has got off to a bad start after a flood of user complaints.

The Windows Live Spaces service, an updated version of blogging site MSN Spaces, was hit by problems with the statistics page and emoticons, as well as issues with email publishing, Friends Explorer and Firefox.

An official blog on the site said it was “actively working to get these resolved.”

We know we disappointed a bunch of you with the issues we had in our rollout last night.

There was a period of over 12 hours where Spaces at best were extremely slow to render, if they rendered properly at all.

We had a bunch of people working hard and late last night to address these issues that did not show up in any of our test environments.

We planned long and hard for this release and unfortunately it was one of those gotchas that only showed up once we were in production.”

Oh dear…