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Microsoft suffered a network outage on Wednesday that crippled its cloud platform Azure and services such as Teams and Outlook, potentially affecting millions of users around the world.

Azure’s status page shows that services are affected in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Only Chinese services and their government-facing platforms were unaffected.

An outage in Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, could affect a variety of services and have a domino effect, as nearly all of the world’s largest companies use the platform.

“We have determined that the network connectivity issue occurred with a device on the Microsoft Wide Area Network (WAN),” Microsoft said. It said it affected connections between clients on the Internet and Azure, as well as connections between data center services.

Microsoft added in a tweet that it had rolled back the networking changes it believed caused the issue. “We are monitoring the service as the rollback is in effect,” it said.

Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected by the outage, but data from outage tracking site Downdetector shows thousands of incidents spread across continents.

The Downdetector site tracks outages by collating status reports from sources such as user-submitted bugs on its platform.

Outages on big tech platforms are not uncommon, as companies ranging from Google to Meta have experienced service outages. Azure, the -largest cloud service provider after Amazon, faced service outages last year.

However, with more employees working from home and increased reliance on online platforms over the past three years, any disruption will have a greater impact.

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During the outage, users experienced issues exchanging messages, joining calls, or using any feature of the Teams app. Many users shared the latest news about the outage on Twitter, with #MicrosoftTeams becoming the hashtag on the social media site.

by more than 280 million people worldwide, Microsoft Teams is an integral part of day-to-day operations for businesses and schools, who use the service to make calls, schedule meetings, and organize their workflow.

Other services affected include Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business, according to the company’s status page.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...