Microsoft Corp’s ‘Teams’ application, which supports over 270 million monthly users, has just gone under causing several hours’ worth of worktime disruption for thousands of online workers across the globe.
The tech giant has just addressed the issue after several reports came in of users being unable to access the app or its features, which include work-based communication tools, scheduling functions, and many other essential bits required for the day-to-day operations of thousands of companies.
They also confirmed that the issue had spread to other Microsoft 365 services, such as Word, Office Online, and SharePoint online — which are used for document creation, management, and sharing, as the names suggest.
Considering that over a billion people and over a million companies collectively use Microsoft’s productivity applications, this represents one of the biggest tech gaffes in recent history.
While Microsoft’s office suite has existed for nearly 35 years, having first been revealed in 1988 by Bill Gates, it’s come a long way since. For most of computing history, the core workplace applications attached to Microsoft have been offline affairs — often coming bundled with Windows installation CDs. (Remember those?)
By 2017, however, the world largely began to shift into online-first working methods, largely bolstered by the Google-driven push towards cloud computing. With files stored online and employees connected 24/7 via faster, broader reaching networks, Office 365 launched as part of a Microsoft initiative to update and link workforces across the world.
That’s not what happened this morning, though — as Downdetector reports indicated:
The problem lies with Azure — the cloud service model at the core of Microsoft’s modern data businesses. While it isn’t yet clear as to what exactly led to the ‘broken connection’ which has hampered Microsoft’s ability to handle the situation, the platform has certainly shown issues this year. A recent report suggested that more than 24 different data centers — including key locations in Washington, Europe, and Asia, are currently operating at reduced capacity.
The report suggested that Microsoft, like most tech companies, was feeling the brunt of the combined surge in global telework demand, combined with the ongoing semiconductor shortage. This led to a situation where Microsoft continued to bring more cloud computing customers under their wing, while their capacity to serve them began to dry up.
So, are people outraged? Well… not really.
Several corporate workers across Asia and Oceania found themselves with an unexpected break as morning and afternoon meetings across the regions hit a roadblock — giving several of us an unexpected break.
Unsurprisingly, people turned to Twitter instead, celebrating what essentially amounted to a surprise ‘school cancelled’ moment for adults:
Unfortunately for them, however, Microsoft has one of the largest tech troubleshooting teams in the world, so the moment isn’t expected to last too long.
After ‘rerouting’ a portion of internet traffic, Microsoft claims to have eased the burden on their servers, resulting in some part of the crisis being averted. “We’re receiving many reports that users are able to access Microsoft Teams, and many functions are beginning to recover,” the company said.
I guess it’s back to work again — party’s over.
(Featured Image Credits: Microsoft)