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‘Very Frustrating’: Microsoft Office 365 Outage Hits U.S. Again

The third Office 365 outage in less than two weeks has affected apps such as Microsoft Teams and Outlook.

For the third time in 10 days, a Microsoft outage has caused Office 365 to go down--affecting Outlook, Teams and other critical productivity apps.

At 2:48 p.m. Eastern Time today, the Microsoft 365 Status account on Twitter posted that “We‘re investigating an issue affecting access to Microsoft 365 services. Users may see impact to Microsoft Teams, Outlook, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Outlook.com.”

[Related: Six Things To Know About the Latest Microsoft Cloud Outage]

An outage map on downdetector.com showed the Office 365 outage affecting users in several regions of the U.S., including the Northeast, parts of the Midwest and much of California.

The incident follows a five-hour outage on Sept. 28 and a four-hour outage on Oct. 1--and comes as countless companies operate with distributed and remote workforces that rely on Office 365 tools such as Teams and Outlook.

In an update late Wednesday afternoon to the Microsoft 365 Service health status page, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft blamed a “recent update to network infrastructure” for today’s outage.

“Further investigation has confirmed that a recent update to network infrastructure resulted in impact to Microsoft 365 services,” Microsoft said on the page. “Our telemetry indicates continued recovery within the environment following the reversion of the update.”

The page pinpointed 2:10 p.m. ET today as the start time for the issues.

A channel source, who has been impacted by all three Office 365 outages in the last 10 days, said he couldn’t even get into an administrator’s console to get an update on the outage.

“Microsoft needs to get its act together,” he said. “I’ve got customers reaching out to me telling me their email is not working. Microsoft needs to take corrective action to get this solved.”

The channel source believes the outages are either the result of a nagging DevOps issue, putting software code into production that is causing the outages, a cybersecurity attack or a problem caused by dramatic increases in the usage of Microsoft Teams.

“In 20-plus years of doing this I have never seen this many outages from Microsoft in such a short period of time,” he said. “I’m surprised. They usually have their act together. This is very frustrating.”

In response to a request for comment, Microsoft released a statement to CRN Wednesday evening: “We’ve mitigated the service interruptions that some customers may have experienced with Azure and M365 services. Our telemetry indicates service has recovered and we will continue to monitor service health.”

After the Sept. 28 outage, which included a failure of Azure Active Directory authentication, Microsoft had blamed a software “code issue.”

“A code issue caused a portion of our infrastructure to experience delays processing authentication requests, which prevented users from being able to access multiple M365 services,” Microsoft said in an email update to Microsoft administrators impacted by the outage.

Steven Burke contributed to this report.

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