Microsoft Office 365 users report problems with Exchange Online

A number of Office 365/Exchange Online users worldwide can neither get nor receive mail.

I am sitting in the Orlando airport waiting to go home after the Worldwide Partner Conference. And I -- like many others on my Twitter stream -- am having problems with Office 365 on the evening (ET time) of July 15.

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The problems seem to be connected to Exchange Online. Users are reporting they cannot receive or send mail. I can confirm on one of my e-mail accounts, I also am encountering this issue.

I used another e-mail account to ask Microsoft officials what's going on and when this problem may be resolved. no word back so far.

Some users are seeing dashboard updates noting their users cannot connect to Exchange Online using Outlook, Outlook Web App (OWA), Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) and Exchange Web Services.Microsoft seems to have been working on the issue for at least an hour, based on those health-dashboard updates.

My own Office 365 dashboard health update claims "there is no end-user impact; impact is limited to administrators only." My dashboard at 7 p.m. ET on July 15 also said "the deployment of the fix to the affected infrastructure is approximately 70 percent complete." It adds "Customers will begin to experience service restoration as the deployment progresses."

My dashboard is claiming the problem has to do only with "eDiscovery searches" performed in a number of languages. However, I can verify I cannot get or send mail via Office 365.

A quick search on Twitter for "Office 365 outage" shows quite a few others on Exchange Online cannot get or receive mail. I am seeing some users reporting that they'v had email problems for at least three hours as of 7:30 pm ET on July 15.

Update (12:10 a.m. ET on July 16): From what I've heard, the outage hit North America and Latin America. I'm not sure if other regions were affected. The problem may have been caused by Microsoft's enablement of a new query, creating issues with CPU utilization in connection with Exchange Online. Starting around 9 p.m. ET on July 15, at least some users began seeing their mail start to trickle through.