If Microsoft Outlook is giving you problems today, you’re not alone. Countless Microsoft users are being frustrated courtesy to a prolonged service outage of Outlook and Office 365. Both of them are the company’s most widely used productivity services particularly in the enterprise sector, so you can imagine that not a lot of people are pleased at the moment.
Microsoft has started to restore email flow to Exchange Online customers affected by an outage that has lasted more than six hours, affecting a big chunk of the U.S. workday on Tuesday. In updates posted at around 3:15 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time to an official support forum, Microsoft representatives wrote that the cause of the problem has been identified, it’s being addressed and that mail is being rerouted away from the affected systems.
The discussion thread in the Office 365 support forum is now at 14 pages, filled with comments from exasperated IT administrators and end users whose work has been affected by the outage. Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud communication and collaboration suite for businesses, schools, government agencies and nonprofit organizations and Exchange Online is one of its components. Exchange Online is also sold as a standalone service.
Word of the outage initially spread on Twitter where many users complained about not being able to access these crucial services. The Washington Post tried contacting Microsoft to find out about the scale and scope of this outage but the company apparently didn’t return its calls. However Microsoft has acknowledged the issue by responding to users through its official Office 365 Twitter account. Microsoft said that the outage is due to issues with its Exchange Online service which is primarily used by businesses to power contacts, calendar and the ever important e-mail services. On a help forum page the company said that its engineers are actively working on a solution to remediate the impact.
Microsoft Outlook and the company’s Exchange service is back online after an outage that began around 6:30 am eastern. “On Tuesday, June 24th, 2014, at approximately 6:30 AM EDT, some North American customers experienced email delays with Exchange Online,” said a Microsoft spokesman. “The issue has since been resolved and the service is now functioning normally.”
The outage lasted approximately 12 hours and affected businesses nationwide. This is the second major outage Microsoft Corporation has dealt with in many days. The company said on Monday that it was working to fix widespread issues with its online communications service Lync on Monday. In a statement, the company said “problems with network routing infrastructure were at the root of those problems.”
Although Microsoft Outlook isn’t as popular among consumers, it’s still huge in the enterprise and the enterprise is big for Microsoft, too. The company derives over half of its revenue from business clients. Without functioning email, many of those businesses have come grinding to a halt.
This isn’t really the perfect timing for an outage given that Microsoft has recovered from a widespread service outage of Lync yesterday. Lync is the company’s online communications service, it said that yesterday’s outage was caused due to network routing infrastructure issues.
Sentiment on Twitter still shows that users aren’t able to access Office 365 and Outlook services.