Microsoft Outlook, SkyDrive outages hit users worldwide

Microsoft Outlook, SkyDrive outages hit users worldwide

Summary: Some Microsoft users are reporting problems accessing their Outlook, Skydrive and Contacts on August 14.

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Microsoft is experiencing difficulties with its Outlook.com, Skydrive and Contacts services, as its own dashboard and various users are reporting on August 14.

livedashboard

I am not having any access issues myself, but others are having problems accessing various services.

According to the Live.com dashboard, here's what's been happening this morning (EST):

Outlook: "We're having a problem accessing email. You might not be able to see all your email messages."

Contacts: "Address book change notifications may not be properly delivered to Hotmail (EAS) for some customers resulting in out of date contacts on devices."

SkyDrive: "Services such as Hotmail, Messenger, and SkyDrive are experiencing technical difficulties. We appreciate your patience as we work on the problem."

(Yes, Hotmail and Messenger don't really exist any more; it's now all Outlook.com and Skype IM. But that's what the Microsoft status message says.)

Do a search on Twitter on #Hotmail to see users complaining about being unable to access their Microsoft mail and the other cloud services mentioned above. Some users are saying they've been unable to get their mail for more than 24 hours. (This is at noon EST on August 14.)

I asked Microsoft officials for comment as to what is going on and when it will be fixed and have yet to hear back.

Update (12:45 PM EST): A Microsoft spokesperson just sent me the following statement:

"Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting a small number of customers' access to some Outlook.com and SkyDrive experiences and we are working to restore full access to the services as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage people to visit the status page (https://status.live.com/)."

Update (2 PM EST): Microsoft has changed the status on SkyDrive to indicate whatever problem there was has been resolved. Still no word from company officials on what happened or when the remaining services will be up and running.

Update (4 PM EST): The dashboard said Microsoft has resolved the Contact issues at 3 pm EST. Still no word on what's going on or when Outlook.com will be fixed for those for whom it is not working. 

Update (4:50 PM EST): From the dashboard: "We identified a solution to the problem and have brought most services back online. The rest of services are being brought up gradually." No other word, so far, about what happened to take Outlook.com down for a day (or more, according to some on Twitter).

Update: 8/15 (received from Microsoft at 6:50 PM EST on August 14): From a spokesperson: "Outlook.com experienced an incident that caused some users not to be able to access their account or share their SkyDrive files. Microsoft has restored web access for all users but some people might still see issues with their mobile devices.  The company is working to restore full mobile access as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage users to visit the status page (https://status.live.com/)."

I am still seeing Twitter reports from individuals who are still having problems accessing Outlook Thursday morning EST -- and not just on mobile devices. A note on the Live status dashboard is now saying an update on what's going on with mobile devices wll be coming at 9:00 AM EST on August 15. There's no further word from Microsoft at this time.

Update 8/15 (1 PM EST): Microsoft still has not resolved the Outlook.com issue -- as I can attest from tweets and emails I've been seeing. The company updated the status dashboard with this message at 1 PM EST:

outlookstilldown

Outlook.com is still experiencing issues and now Microsoft is promising an update on the situation at 7:00 PM EST. 

Update 8/17 (8 AM EST): The status dashboard is now reporting Outlook.com is fixed. I am still getting tweets from individuals saying it is not. If you are still having problems with your Outlook.com, is it on your PC, your mobile device or both? Chime in below in the comments. Thanks.

The lack of transparency and communication from Microsoft about this set of incidents has been puzzling, I have to say.

Any theories or observations to report, any of you who are affected?

Topics: Unified Comms, Cloud, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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53 comments
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  • Just another reason not to use Microsoft

    products. Oh well feel sorry for those companies effected.
    Over and Out
    • Yeah, because...

      ...none of the competition EVER has outages.

      Enough said
      GoodThings2Life
      • You can say that but

        What out the outage on
        January 8th 2013 & Mar 14, 2013..
        Anthony E
        • English...

          please.
          kstap
          • You don't know what

            what about the outage on certain dates mean ? ?
            Anthony E
      • The bigger issue is that...

        Services which are cloud based have to have redundancy on redundancy. Google good or bad has a nearly flawless rate of service, Amazon, Ebay, etc. have had outages, but usually they are justifiably beyond their control, i.e. hacked, etc. But blackberry who was number one had their massive outage because of failed equipment and it nearly ruined them, Microsoft could have the same thing happen if the explanation is similarly negligent; and no explanation at all will be similarly bad. If a damn good reason isn't given for the outages, it will set MS back in gaining consumer trust in the cloud.
        Socratesfoot
    • So what service should we use

      Definitely not iCloud or anything relating to that.

      Not Google stuff, they've had downtime too.

      What service has no downtime?
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Amazon has never had an outage.

        just kidding :-)
        frankwick
      • Re: What service has no downtime?

        One that you build yourself? It will not be related to Apple or Google, so you can sleep well.
        Then, you will be never surprised that it is down, because you will know that beforehand (hopefully).

        There is no such thing as free lunch...
        danbi
        • That kind of was my point

          Thanks for repeating it.
          Michael Alan Goff
        • Yeah right

          Corporate/DIY networks have tons of incidents. I doubt whether 1% of small businesses have any redundancy at all.
          scH4MMER
    • Really?

      Are you holding MS to a higher standard?
      frankwick
    • Yes, instead they should use Apache on Linux

      Like the New York Times.

      Ouch.
      toddbottom3
      • severe

        This is much much severe. Ny times going down u just won't be able to read some news BUT Outlook.com & skydrive going down , u lose emails n critical files

        Too horrible. You just can't make this stuff up
        ThinkFairer8
        • u

          Apparently, u can.
          scH4MMER
          • so

            So ur saying not being able to read your news is more severe than not being able to access your emails & no access to your cloud files ???

            Ok got it. The world has got the priority right
            ThinkFairer8
      • But....

        Wasn't the NYT site hacked or was down recently?
        Gisabun
    • Yea!

      This week the City dug up the whole boulevard near my house and closed the street. I'm NEVER driving on these streets again.
      LarsDennert
    • Errrr

      So what do you use? Google stuff? Didn't they had an outage within the past few weeks as well?
      Gisabun
  • Out in WV

    You're the first major article I've seen about this outage other than outage tracking services with a few comments from readers. I noticed this outage around 8 AM Wednesday morning. I see now that MS is reporting and posting updates on this outage now. Thanks for letting us know what you found out.
    WVTip