Microsoft is right now groaning under the weight of a 52,000-person internal Reply-All email storm.
The Register understands this one started when Microsoft’s internal store shared a mail about discount software deals for friends and family of Microsoft staff. While that offer was generous, it didn’t apply to all Microsoft staff everywhere - but the email reached well beyond the US of A. Which prompted an early Reply-All message asking whether the offer could cross borders. Then the snowball started rolling, and proved unstoppable.
We understand the mail went throughout Microsoft – enterprise, cloud and even Xbox folks found it in their inboxes.
Our Microsoft sources tell us some staff are now hitting Reply All for the sheer fun of it, posting frivolous messages that celebrate the ridiculousness of the situation. Memes and other oddities are swirling in the storm.
The result is social media missives like this:
Currently experiencing one of my first company wide Reply All email threads.— Benjamin Fischman (@benji_fischman) March 26, 2020
The good, humor, “I too shall reply all to tell people not to reply all”.
The bad, Outlook notifications every five seconds.
The ugly, folks sharing pics of their doggos.
And, of course, seeing as the email has gone viral, mentions of the global coronavirus pandemic are spreading too.
"If you’re going to reply all, at least include a meme."— Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) March 26, 2020
Long-time Microsoftie Jeffery Snover, who worked on early versions of Windows NT, invented PowerShell and is now lead architect for the company's Enterprise Cloud Group, weighed in with some management-level advice:
All you need to do is:— Jeffrey WFH Snover (@jsnover) March 26, 2020
1) REPLY-ALL saying "Don't REPLY-ALL you idiots"
2) REPLY-ALL saying "Please take me off this list"
Friend of The Register Adam Fowler even tweeted a possible fix:
Azure Information Protection can block the ability to reply all, it's an out of the box option from memory!— Adam Fowler (@AdamFowler_IT) March 26, 2020
Our Microsoft sources say that while the mail storm is a hassle, it’s also a welcome distraction from the wholly-understandable-gloom many staff of the Seattle-based tech titan feel at this very trying time. ®