‘Outlook’ has another breakdown – the second this week

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Microsoft isn’t having a good week with yet another breakdown of their cloud services.  This time it’s their mail hosting infrastructure for Microsoft 365 hosted mailboxes and Outlook.com .

The troubles started early on Thursday 1st October 2020 (before 7am UTC )

Initially it seemed to only affect Outlook on the Web (formerly Outlook Web Access) but the problem went beyond that to affect connections from desktop and mobile clients as well.

Many of the media reports are talking about an ‘Outlook’ outage without being specific.  ‘Outlook’ is Microsoft’s term for all their email services and programs.  Despite having the same name, ‘Outlook’ programs and apps work in very different ways and depend on which mailboxes they connect to.

What happened?

According to Microsoft, they updated their systems and the patch used was faulty. 

The patch broke the Representational state transfer (REST) functionality within Microsoft 365.  REST is a common way for programs to exchange information across the internet.

Broken updates from Microsoft is a problem all Office users have suffered from in the past.  Happily, Microsoft acknowledged and fixed this faulty patch much faster than they do with broken Office patches.

Service was gradually restored as systems were rolled back to a previous working state and restarted. That had to be done in each of Microsoft’s server farms around the world.

Where we are now

At 1am Friday UTC (7pm Thursday in New York) the system status was still ‘Restoring service’.

According to Microsoft “ We’re continuing to perform targeted restarts within specific regions that continue to show limited impact. “

See Microsoft 365 offline! What happened and what you should do for our tips on how to keep working when there are cloud or mailbox

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