New Jersey blames Microsoft for weeks of outages, glitches plaguing coronavirus vaccine sign-up website

Promised software may never work as specified, it is feared


New Jersey's Microsoft-powered coronavirus vaccine-registration system has not worked properly for the past five weeks, according to officials, and may never work as specified.

The US state's CovidVaccine.nj.gov website is supposed to allow people to book appointments for their shots, and uses Redmond's Vaccination Management platform – a collection of software tools for tackling the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

Yet since its launch on January 5, the application has dropped offline for periods lasting days at a time, lost or double-booked appointments, and turned away netizens, among other reported glitches. It has required daily bugfixes, say officials, who fear it won't ever fully operate as specified. New Jersey was hit hard by the virus outbreak, recording more than 20,000 deaths to date.

“We are working with the state of New Jersey to deliver vaccinations as quickly, safely and efficiently as possible, and that includes addressing some technical issues,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Bloomberg, which earlier today first reported the scale of the IT breakdown.

Image by Reddavebatcave https://www.shutterstock.com/g/Reddavebatcave

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab

READ MORE

The news wire also reported that "state officials said Microsoft appears to be using too few staffers, with some key personnel in overseas time zones that leave them unavailable during US business hours." A spokesperson for the Windows giant was not available for further comment.

So far the system has successfully handled thousands of folks, though there are concerns the technology won't hold up as more and more of New Jersey's almost nine million inhabitants become eligible for a vaccine. Amid the outages, the state is relying on websites run by counties and hospitals to manage COVID-19 shots. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has said it's managed to get by with Redmond's platform with just a few glitches.

New Jersey's Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said on Wednesday the state's appointment system "has had its issues."

At the end of January, Governor Phil Murphy was under fire for the patchy registration program.

“Remember we are building the airplane here as we’re flying it," he said. "It may be the most complex logistical undertaking — other than going to war — in the history of the United States." ®

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger
    Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022