Microsoft says '775% Azure surge' report was inaccurate

Original report should have made clear this was confined to Teams use in Italy, company explains

Microsoft's massive 775% surge in Azure usage was actually just for Teams users in Italy, the company has confirmed.

The company reported on Monday that it had seen a massive spike in Azure services such as Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop and Power BI in areas where lockdowns and mass remote working had been forced.

But this was an error as it was only for Microsoft Teams' in Italy over a one month period.

"We have seen a 775% increase in Teams' calling and meeting monthly users in a one month period in Italy, where social distancing or shelter in place orders have been enforced," the tech giant confirmed.

Although the corrected figures are less impressive, Teams has seen a huge spike in users globally with 12 million more users signing on in March. This took the overall daily active users of the service to 44 million. This spike in users saw Teams go down for around two hours earlier in March as Europe began mass remote working.

Other services also saw increases, such as Windows Virtual Desktop which trebled its users and Microsoft's business analytics service, Power BI, which notched up a 42% user increase in just one week.

The company recently announced it would prioritise capacity provisions for critical health and safety organisations to ensure the relevant remote workers can stay up and running during the coronavirus pandemic. However, with demand for cloud services surging in lockdown areas, the company has said it will "expedite" the creation of new capacity.

"We're implementing a few temporary restrictions designed to balance the best possible experience for all of our customers," the company wrote on its blog. "We have placed limits on free offers to prioritise capacity for existing customers.

"We are expediting the addition of significant new capacity that will be available in the weeks ahead. Concurrently, we monitor support requests and, if needed, encourage customers to consider alternative regions or alternative resource types, depending on their timeline and requirements. If the implementation of these efforts to alleviate demand is not sufficient, customers may experience intermittent deployment-related issues."

In addition, Microsoft also said its been in regular contact with ISPs around the world and is actively working with them to "argument" capacity as needed.

"We've been in discussions with several ISPs that are taking measures to reduce bandwidth from video sources in order to enable their networks to be performant during the workday," the company said.

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