Microsoft Apologises For Outlook.com Outage



/ 5 years ago

outlook_outage

After days of intermittent problems with the Outlook.com service Microsoft has made a public apology for the mayhem to their free online email client. The message on its service status page described the most recent problems as caused by a glitch in the caching service which is why the status page told people the servers were available but some users couldn’t access the service.

“This incident was a result of a failure in a caching service that interfaces with devices using Exchange ActiveSync, including most smart phones. The failure caused these devices to receive an error and continuously try to connect to our service. 

This resulted in a flood of traffic that our services did not handle properly, with the effect that some customers were unable to access their Outlook.com email and unable to share their SkyDrive files via email.

In order to stabilize the overall email service, we temporarily blocked access via Exchange ActiveSync. This allowed us to restore access to Outlook.com via the web and restore the sharing features of SkyDrive. These parts of the service were fully stabilized within a few hours of the initial incident. 

A significant backlog of Exchange ActiveSync requests accumulated as we worked to stabilize access. To avoid another flood of traffic, we needed to restore access to Exchange ActiveSync slowly, which meant that some customers remained impacted for a longer period of time.

We want to apologize to everyone who was affected by the outage, and we appreciate the patience you have shown us as we worked through the issues.”

So if the past few day of trying to use Outlook.com have driven you nuts then at least you know Microsoft has apologised for the disruption to its service. Hardly very useful though if you needed your Outlook.com to work at specific points in the past few days. I know a lot of people have already migrated to other services in protest, particularly that of Microsoft’s greatest rival – Gmail.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

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