back to article Microsoft Office 365, Azure portals offline for many users in Europe

Microsoft's Office 365 service has gone offline for many users in the UK and Europe, though the cause and extent of the outage is not yet known. Neither the Office 365 portal, nor the Azure management portal is available at the time of writing, though Microsoft's status page says everything is fine. Everthing is fine says …

  1. kryptylomese

    Could Microsoft get drunk in a brewery?

    1. Triggerfish

      Yes, they would be the ones stumbling round blind because they chose the cleaning fluid.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Time for Nutella

    2. Simon 4

      Hosted Exchange

      I have been repeatedly offered Office 365 from two different providers I use for hosted Exchange.

      I always refuse.

      My exchange providers run their own servers, whereas MS run the 365 servers. All they are is resellers of the 365 service.

      So for the same reason I won't use Google Mail or apps, I won't use Office 365. Who do I call and yell at when it's not working? Where will the accountability be?

      And if I was selecting services for clients... when they call and yell at me, who am I supposed to yell at?

      You'll never know where your email is hosted with 365. With hosted Exchange, it's much more transparant.

      The problems I had with billing snafus on 365 just for gaining use of applications that we'd paid for - total nightmare. Would never want that dire level of communication when chasing a fix for downed email servers.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Hosted Exchange

        "Who do I call and yell at when it's not working?" Since we have moved to Gmail and GApps, I call the guy who made it his mission to make the migration and make the failing trombone sound Waaa Waaa!

      2. sgp

        Re: Hosted Exchange

        The problem is clear, they really should use more than 365 servers.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hosted Exchange

          What - more than one server for every user?

      3. alpine

        Re: Hosted Exchange

        Don't be silly. It's the CLOUD, dontcha know, the unversal answer, alongside 42, to everything.

        Please conform.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Brewery Party Capability.

          *In somewhat slurred drunken voice*

          A'zure 'is workin'?


          No. I'm haskin' you. Azure is working'?

          Oh. Err... Yush.

          A' zure it is?

          Yush. Errr... I think. No'zure. 'Ang hon.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Could Microsoft get drunk in a brewery?"

      Perhaps a better question to ask would be:

      "Could Microsoft get drunk in a mineral water bottling plant ?"

      The answer would appear to be an unequivocal yes on recent performances.

      1. The First Dave

        "We are now able to log into Office 365 so the service is much ixmxpxrxoxvxexdx worse."


  2. Locky

    Here you go M$

    Have all my eggs to place in your expertly managed basket.

    Who would have thought that this could possibly happen?

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: Here you go M$

      "Have all my eggs to place in your expertly managed basket."

      Hold on, this is Microsoft we are talking about.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: Here you go M$

      Who would have thought that this could possibly happen?

      Everyone who told their employers.

      Course being listened to....

      1. Jagged

        Re: Here you go M$

        "Course being listened to...."

        - This, so much. The Senior management in my company are falling over themselves to implement sharepoint and for some reason seem happy to spend more on it than they ever let us spend on the systems it will replace. I just don't get it :(

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Here you go M$

          What you don't get is the old "familiarity breeds contempt" meme. They're, whoever they are, quite used to watching you flail around at trying something/anything to bring something/anything to bring the systems back online. What they haven't experienced yet is the experts Pro's from Dover doing the same thang when it's their turn in the barrel.

          After the first (few) times either they'll get used to it [not likely], revert to type or in other words put you back on the job [yea, right], or figure out a way that "it's your fault anyway" [most likely]. Have a resume ready in all of the above scenarios.

    3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

      Re: Here you go M$

      "Have all my eggs to place in your expertly managed basket case."


    4. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Here you go M$

      "Have all my eggs to place in your egg-spurtly managed basket."


  3. Sir Barry


    And this is why I avoid cloud services as much as possible.

  4. Gatt

    Have they tried switching them off and on again?

  5. Sebastian Brosig

    Maybe it was me wot broke it. I logged in late last night and then a minute later tried to access another account, then it all went belly up and neither account worked any more. Lolz.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Brosig Brofist!

  6. Greg D

    Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

    But I'm surrounded by a management team of penny pinchers and "architects" that think they know what they are doing (they don't, they are lazy fucks - "designed" a system that basically meant not designing anything).

    I have been STAUNCHLY against using Office 365 since the first day someone on my team mentioned it. This is just one of a few outages recently and other shitty problems that would never have occurred had we stayed on-prem.

    1. Rob

      Re: Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

      Sounds common, either that or we work for the same employer.

    2. Ben1892

      Re: for us too....I would love to have avoided this

      We are designing Office 365 it into strategy, we've got minimal M$ cloud services at the moment but our on-prem Active Directory is playing up today too. On-prem does not mean no downtime or problems.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

      Get a nice cup of tea and read a paper.

    4. The Travelling Dangleberries

      Re: Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

      It has been down for us today too, in our little bit of Norway and it is rather slow at the moment. It is used in all the schools in the valley so I guess there are a few annoyed teachers out there today.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

      Totally agree with you! We currently run Exchange 2010 and Office 2010 so will be looking at upgrading next year or maybe stretch to the year after. Colleagues at a closely related business recently migrated from Exchange and Office 2007 to hosted 365 and so we saw an email from their support guys this morning detailing issues. First thing my boss says was "more ammunition to management to not go the hosted route!" ALL of the main players in cloud service have been hit with issues, be it Google, Amazon or Microsoft. Plus you could be effected if you lost your internet connection for any reason (some twonk dug up a fibre, etc) So we will be sticking with an on the premises soloution!

      1. Tezfair

        Re: Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

        Last weekend I installed a 60 user Exchange 2016 server at a customers. Didn't need to be super fast as all the staff are external. 365 on paper seemed the best way to go, but on the basis that a hosted exchange account was around £6 a month per user, or £360 per month, or £4320 per year, their little system cost £10k, that also includes server 2012r2 + 60 device CALs, Exchange + 60 CALS and Symantec SMSMSE, 60 Licenses. They will now support Outlooks from 2010 right through to the next 2 versions, basically a good 10 years of service. (although the physical server might not last that long, but exchange has been virtualized)

        So on March 2018 they will hit the point where having an onprem becomes cost effective.

        Oh, and they have 2Tb set aside for their mailboxes, not the 25Gb per mailbox limit that 365 imposes (althought I have set a cap of 30Gb for the time being, but even that looks like it would take 8 years to reach with most accounts that I exported)

        1. Yag

          Re: Fucked for us too....I would love to have avoided this

          Lots of unacounted costs in your short estimation.

          You should factor at least the cost of the power for the server, the associated temperature control system and the cost of the physical server room (the last two might be very low if there were already a server room on premise)

          However, I'm pretty sure it'll still be far more cost effective than the cloudy based solution.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Office 365.25

    It's ok. This is Office 365

    A year is 365.25 days, so this is acceptable downtime.

    1. breakfast

      Re: Office 365.25

      Next year is a leap year so they have a whole extra day of outage available to them before Office 365 becomes a misnomer.

      Who will protect us from this gregorian travesty?

      1. hplasm
        Thumb Up

        Re: Office 365.25

        "Who will protect us from this Gregorian Travesty?"

        And we have a winner of the Rename MS Cloud Service competition!

        Or a Retro Band...

      2. CrazyOldCatMan

        Re: Office 365.25

        > Who will protect us from this gregorian travesty?


        1. Primus Secundus Tertius

          Re: Office 365.25


          He Caesar maiden through the glass

          And contemplates her shapely anatomy.

      3. Richard Plinston

        Re: Office 365.25

        > Who will protect us from this gregorian travesty?

        Certainly not Microsoft:

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Office 365.25

      Remember, we had a leap second this year, so that lowers the stats too.

    3. Scott 53

      Re: Office 365.25

      "A year is 365.25 days, so this is acceptable downtime."

      A tropical year is 365.242189 days. If it was 365.25 days we wouldn't need the rule that century years are only leap years if they are divisible by 400.

  8. Noel Morgan

    not panicking

    We have just finished a move of services to Office365 2 months ago.

    However this is the first time that there has been a problem that affects our users that instead of running around trying to fix it I can just say "Not My Problem" and go and have a cup of tea !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not panicking

      Yup, it's great when it's an SEP - someone else's problem :-)

      Ooh, second cup of coffee time.

      <sarcasm>Of course, it'll be fixed in minutes, Microsoft are big enough to have a few people around who should know what they're doing.</sarcasm>

    2. future research

      Re: not panicking

      I moved over users at the weekend. Time for a cupa.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not panicking

      soon will be your problem as you are 'replaced' by MS because you don't have anything to do anymore.

      Just be careful. Office (will it work in 2016 which is a leap year) 365 is a great way to reduce IT staff headcount down to Zero.

      1. future research

        Re: not panicking

        "Just be careful. Office (will it work in 2016 which is a leap year) 365 is a great way to reduce IT staff headcount down to Zero."

        Yes, I am sure that is my future, just hanging around now and training myself.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: not panicking

          Nah just make sure everything is tied up in Sharepoint and such. Ooooh looks like steam has installed lets see if a dell can run Age of Empires 3.

      2. Noel Morgan

        Re: not panicking

        Not really.

        Haven't found my workload lessening since moving. The only thing that has got less is the pressure.

        Still have accounts to create, mail to manage and all the other normal things to do, just doing it on a different platform.

        As to the argument that someone else will be able to do my job, true, but I know have 'cloud migration' experience which means I should be able to get a job easier somewhere else too.

        The world moves on.

        1. Steve Walker

          Re: not panicking

          And remember to replace "virtual" with "cloud" on that CV thus ensuring you keep your skills up to date :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not panicking

      yep that sis the only advantage! But you'll still get users knocking on your door whether its your fault or not!

  9. hplasm

    It's an ID problem.

    Inactive Directory.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great day to work from home... something something building foundations on clouds something something. There's a parable in there somewhere.

  11. joewilliamsebs

    I'm pleased so many readers have the ability to run on-prem solutions with zero unplanned downtime.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      But that's the point -- we know there's no such thing as zero unplanned downtime. Managers who listen to sales droids harping on about the benefit of cloud this-and-that think it all works like fucking magic.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Your right, we folks in Telecoms are allowed almost 6 minutes a year.

  12. David Austin

    Maybe Microsoft need a Status status page?

    Stuff breaks, but what's the point of having a status page if it doesn't actually tell you the current status.

    1. nematoad Silver badge

      "...what's the point of having a status page if it doesn't actually tell you the current status."

      I think you are missing the point.

      The status page obviously isn't for the users otherwise they would always be able to see it. No, this is strictly for MS's use. It's there to demonstrate to the higher echelons that everything is working as intended.

      Cynical I know, but it may contain a piece of the truth.

      1. Necronomnomnomicon

        Normally I'd be

        But Microsoft's Status page has been surprisingly good for us (just passed three months on O365). By which, I mean that for the first two and a half months there were yellow alerts everywhere, different ones every week, and they were for the merest trifles, nearly all of which didn't affect us but which were genuinely useful for the few that did. So good that it's a genuine letdown this has been missed off the status page, rather than business as usual.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: Normally I'd be

    2. Triggerfish

      but what's the point of having a status page if it doesn't actually tell you the current status.

      Got to be better than Talk Talks where you have to connect to the web page, at which point it tells you your internet connection is working. Always thought there was a sly genius in that status page.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Yes but it's hosted on Azure and you're seeing cached content...

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Satus Page?

      It's just a jpeg saying "All is working".

      It will be correct 99% of the time for 99% of the time.

      After that, well, it does not matter anymore how often it is wrong.

      1. Vic

        Re: Satus Page?

        After that, well, it does not matter anymore how often it is wrong

        That's rather more true for this page - and that's not just a jpeg :-)


  13. timhowarduk

    Glorious Irony

    The last thing I was doing yesterday was reworking our risk management plan. Yep, I saved the file on OneDrive for business.

    The final item we discussed last night was impact on the organisation if Office365 cloud services were offline for various lengths of time.

    This morning, of course I can't open the risk management spreadsheet we were working on from the web portal. Due to unlucky coincidence the sync client also fell over yesterday and I didn't notice, so I don't have the usual offline copy to carry on working either.

    The irony of all this is not lost on me!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After migrating our training environment from local hosted using citrix to azure hosted using remoteapp we went through months of testing. Several conference calls with people and 2 webex sessions to bash test the environment.

    Everything was working fine.

    our VERY FIRST customer we have training on this new environment scheduled for today has now given us huge embarrassment. The customers want a refund, the trainers don't want to use the system anymore and I am also getting moaned at for something out of my control.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tell them that IT is a tool which may break in several billion ways before sunday.

  15. TS15

    How's this for irony... this seems to have happened on the same morning that our local Exchange 2013 box has decided to die thanks to an Active Directory problem capable of causing Win2012 server to bluescreen..

    A small part of me is vaguely reassured that MS's own platforms, running under their own control, are just as fragile as on-premise installations... that said, it would be rather nice if things just worked (and continued to do so) sometimes!

  16. seanblee

    We've worked around this in our internal DNS by pointing at their US servers instead of their European servers - that's obviously no help if you don't have your own DNS servers, though.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      > ... by pointing at their US servers ...

      That's one of those "hmm" statements and it took me a while to figure out why I was thinking about it quite so much.

      In the "Post Snowden" world, Microsoft has made a big think of having regional services - so for example customers in the UK can be assured that their data will be held in Europe and safe from the USA.

      Can anyone tell me what I'm missing here ?

      If "someone" has access to a user's login then they have access to that user's data.

      If that "someone" has access to the Active Directory holding that user's account details, then that gives them access to the user's login - even if they have to reset the password to do it.

      If that Active Directory is being run on a server in the US (or under the control of a US entity) then that means that "someone" can knock on the door, "instruct" someone to give them access and "by the way, don't mention this to anyone".

      So a UK customer is secure from US access to their data ? I'm not so sure.

      1. TheVogon

        "So a UK customer is secure from US access to their data ? I'm not so sure."

        Only if you use the Azure RMS "bring your own certificate" option.

  17. s. pam
    IT Angle

    It's raining turds and birds

    Oh gee what a surprise -- I can't get into email for the company I'm contracting to due to MSFT. I've been trying to get into their email for 2 hours with little luck, even tried reboots, different browsers.

    I guess I'll go remove the caulk in my shower that's leaking then.

  18. JTUK

    It's an Azure AD Failure - so impacting a lot of stuff.

    If you Google: Azure status, you'll get the azure page (that O365 relies on) that explains this outage.


  19. djstardust

    Office 2003

    Documents locally saved and backed up to Dropbox. Best of both worlds and it doesn't cost a penny.

    Nothing more to say really .....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Office 2003

      How does it do when scaling to a couple of thousand users?

      1. hplasm

        Re: Office 2003

        How does it do when scaling to a couple of thousand users?

        What- Office 365? Not so well...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Office 2003

        "How does it do when scaling to a couple of thousand users?"

        It scales to hundreds of thousands of concurrent users without any issues.

  20. breakfast

    Looks like it's back up.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    2. McShufts

      Not at our end :(

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lare you feeling lucky

    AC - as will be obv from below

    I log in (& then out, when finished ) of 365 in the nice approved company secure way

    Colleagues who take the (should not be done according to the company) method of having the keep me always logged in (or whatever teh exact wording is) box, have had no problems getting onto office 365 cloud hosted files.

    I, on the other hand, just left in login limbo.

    So, people who stayed logged in from yesterday probably OK.

  22. steamrunner

    Swings and roundabouts

    It's all swings and roundabouts really. It's all IT, where ever it is. It *will* fail.

    Doesn't really matter if you have Office 365, Hosted Exchange with someone, or your own on-premises server(s) — at some point, things will go FUBAR. Yes, you may have control to fix it if it's your own estate, but that's assuming you have the nous to do so, the problem is minor (or you have damn good backups and DR and can be arsed to use it even for an outage of just a couple of hours) and the problem at hand doesn't take forever to fix. Someone will still be screaming at you.

    It then becomes a percentages game. If you want a lower percentage chance of outage than your neighbours, then you engage brain cells and spend more money. The business types amongst us are familiar with the phrase "cost vs risk". In the case of Office 365 there are, for example, failover/DR solutions available from non-related third-parties to keep your email moving if Microsoft goes splat. Not ideal, not perfect, but it keeps you moving for those crucial moments.

    In short: you calculates your need, you knows your risks, you pays your money, and you takes your lumps. Stop moaning that you skipped one of the first three and don't now like the fourth.


    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Swings and roundabouts

      Stocks swings and silicon roundabouts.

  23. TRT Silver badge

    What outage? I've not heard anything...

    In the event of a service outage, my inbox is usually pinging away like a stripper's knicker elastic on payday.

    *Checks job tickets*

    No open job tickets. Great system that. An authenticated user can hit a panic button and it generates one automatically.

    *checks eMail*

    No users typing in ALL CAPS at me. No one has sent me any emails for the last few hours, for that matter. No news is good news.

    *checks Yammer*

    Nope. Not a sausage.

    *checks Skype*

    Nope. Nothing doing.

    *Checks secure authenticated VOIP phone*


    What about the POTS over copper? No, forgot, that was removed as a cost saving measure just after they move everything to Microsoft cloud services.

    *Looks at protocol flowchart*

    Mmmm... there's nothing on there about "Had an email is the last three hours? - No - Leave cheap and nasty IT accommodation in the butt-end of nowhere on the outskirts of London (that's at least three hours drive away in traffic at this time of day and is 30 minutes walk from a tube station, hence why it's so cheap) so that we can reclaim 14sq m of prime central London office space. Travel to central office and check in with the administrators there in the event that our Microsoft / Azure / Office365 based communications has failed." They left that contingent out of the troubleshooting flowchart.

    Ahhhhh! Peace and quiet. Mine's the one with milk, no sugar.

  24. future research

    Oh well this is all progress.

    I ran postfix for 6 years with no problems. (except the odd SDSL connection failure)

    Then Exchange on premise for almost 3 years, had about a week of issues, slowness and outlook connection problems (e-mail still moving fine, 99.85%, only a problem due to load in office hours) due to migration to newer hardware but performed worst.

    Office 365 for 3 days, and already 3 hours of problems. 96%

    That's progress for you.

  25. sawatts

    Outlook App for Android

    Right! Explains why Outlook App for Android kept asking me to re-enter my password, and then hanging. Appeared to be sorted by around 1230hrs.

    However, while this was going on I couldn't use the app to access any other account (non-Microsoft) on it. This seems like a critical failure in the app design.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Outlook App for Android

      Well at least you know it's secure. Something you have, your phone, Something you know, ALL your passwords.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We had our Microsoft Account manager in yesterday advocating how wonderful Azure AD is and why we should move all our DC's up there.

    I wonder if his phone is busy today?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do we work in the same place?

      MS New World of Workraft demo?

  27. McShufts

    I'm having fun at work today >_>

  28. David Lawton

    I'm not a cloud fan at least not Microsoft's, OneDrive for Business anyone? What an absolute mess that is, yet Dropbox seem to manage it fine, but i've been forced that way because things such as Office for iPad require it, and since we are already paying for it we may as well move our Exchange over to 365.

    I will give Microsoft some credit , Onenote is a fantastic product and absolutely love it now its cross platform (Mac, Windows, iOS and Android), but i'm guessing that has been effected by this outage.

    If only i could have the same functionality as a private self hosted cloud.

  29. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

    Office 365 vs Office

    I just went through an exercise with a local community organisation that I'm involved with outside work, specifying a new laptop and supporting software.

    "Why would we want to spend more money of MS Office, when this voucher we got with the laptop says we can get Office 365 for less?" they asked.

    The scenarios that I used when explaining my answer was very much like what's described in this article

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small business cloud

    So if you want some idea of small business cloud.

    Mentioning this as we use Office 365 - staying anonymous.

    Recent discussion to use one drive, as google drive is a bit clunky (but useful for techs to load up stuff, us to put CADs on for them etc).

    Since one drive has gone down - the comment was well good job we don't use that then. Pointing out google docs has the same risks has just been met with yes but that has never gone down.

    Asking if we are making PM's etc make sure that files uploaded to the cloud are also all downloaded to the NAS as part of the end of a project and to ensure we have a proper backup of it someone - "I don't know I suppose they do".

    Man glad I am bottom rung lemon and just saving up for my FU money to leave.

  31. Ken 16

    you can't even log a support ticket

    There are currently no KNOWN issues preventing you from signing into Office365

  32. Jeroen Braamhaar

    Cloud: never knowing where your outage is, who's responsible for it, or when it gets fixed.


  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not to sound smug..

    but this is why we chose to put our data very very close to the cloud and not actually in the cloud. We leverage the compute by the data is ours. At times like this we tweak a buttons, flick a few nobs, decide what to dump and what to keep and bring essentials back in house.

  34. steamnut


    I have lost count of the number of Azure/365 service outages there have been this year but even one is too many if your business depends on it.

    How long before someone challenges M$'s excessively complicated EULA which is essence says you don't own what you have paid for and, if it doesn't work, you cannot sue us?

    We need a large company with a big legal budget to go after M$. Even though I'm against the EU, this is one area they could get involved except I am concerned how embedded M$ is in the EU...

    The only clouds we are using are our own; at least we know who to fire is it all goes wrong...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The first time ever they're compliant with Data Protection then..

    I'm impressed by Microsoft's sudden commitment to EU Data Protection - even forcing their clients into compliance. Take that, Google!

    Joking aside, thank you for confirming that a local install is still best.

    So glad I use LibreOffice :)

  36. Chika


    A few weeks ago, I was taking part in an interview for a job doing support for a company that specialised in a particular software product (I won't name any names for obvious reasons). One thing that I noticed was that pretty much everything that they did was cloud based, so one question I brought up was what the company did to cover themselves in the case of an outage.

    I'm not sure if they really understood where I was coming from but as a long term support operative for local based servers and for locally based SAN storage, I knew full well that a dodgy server had its effects on customers but that we could normally alleviate the problem one way or another, often without having to wait for somebody to sort out a system somewhere in the "cloud". More importantly we could pinpoint the fault and often give an idea of how long it would be before we could bring the affected system back online.

    This was because the various points of failure that were likely to occur were onsite. With this whole business with Azure/O365, the various points of failure are out of the control of the customers' IT, whether it is an Internet fail, a DDoS or a malfunction at the farm. If your entire system is out on a cloud somewhere and that cloud suddenly evaporates, apart from fielding hordes of complaints from exasperated users, what do you do?

    Oh yes, I also managed to sprain my ankle on the way to the interview. Suffice to say that I was not impressed at all (and have spent much of the last couple of weeks in bed trying to rest it, mostly because standing up was extremely painful.)

  37. solovat

    office 365 login

    hi there! did anybody try to create their own mobile app with this service?

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