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Microsoft Applications Like Outlook And Teams Were Down For Thousands Of Users

A grey building with a long row of windows has the word "Microsoft" written in black letters across the top.
A building with offices belonging to Microsoft is seen in Chevy Chase, Maryland, January 18, 2023.
(Saul Loeb
AFP via Getty Images)
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Microsoft says it has rolled back a routing change that appeared to cause thousands of its customers to lose access to applications like Outlook and Teams on Wednesday morning.

Downdetector, which tracks software outage reports, showed a spike in issues with Microsoft 365 apps (formerly known as Office 365) around 3 a.m. ET.

Countries where the workday was underway, like Japan, India and the United Kingdom, each registered thousands of outage reports.

Microsoft said in a status reportthat users were "unable to access multiple Microsoft 365 services," including Teams, Outlook, Sharepoint, Exchange, OneDrive and Defender.

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The tech giant originally said it had isolated the problem to "networking configuration issues," later saying that it had "rolled back a network change that we believe is causing impact." It updated its status report to show the applications were fully accessible again shortly after 7:30 a.m. ET.

The company will continue to monitor and investigate the issue, it said.

International media outlets such as Sky News reported that a German interior ministry spokesperson pledged to also investigate the outage, implying that "culprits" might be at fault.

In a statement provided to NPR, Microsoft confirmed the outage was a result of a network change and not outside actors.

Nearly 345 million people use Microsoft products globally, according to the company's last public disclosure, in 2021. Applications like Outlook and Teams serve as a critical engine for many businesses, schools and service organizations.

But that popularity hasn't kept Microsoft as a company immune from an economic slowdown that's sent a wave of layoffs across Silicon Valley.

On Tuesday, Microsoft reported its revenue was only increasing by 2%, its slowest growth in six years. In a three month period that ended in December, the company's overall profit fell 12%, to $16.4 billion.

The company announced last week that it would slash 10,000 jobs, a fraction of its 200,000-person workforce.

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