Update 'designed to improve user experience' takes down the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal

Redmond's quality control shines once more

Updated Microsoft's legendary approach to quality was demonstrated this morning as the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal fell over.

Without a hint of irony, the company posted: "We've identified a recent service update designed to improve user experience is causing impact."

The impact in question was an inability to access the admin portal, something unlikely to affect an end user pootling around in Excel, but a huge headache for an administrator trying to manage their tenant.

Microsoft 365 Portal problems

Microsoft 365 Portal problems

The problem appears to be specific to users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to Microsoft (although some users in North America and Asia reported issues).

Other services, such as the Teams Admin Center also dropped over in sympathy, although Teams itself continued functioning. And there was the additional irony that to view Microsoft 365 Service Health from the somewhat sluggish status.office.com, one was directed to portal.office.com, which was... a little poorly when we checked it.

Microsoft confirmed the fault by 0936 UTC this morning. An excruciating 45 minutes later, the company was hurriedly backing out of whatever it had done to its systems.

In the latest update to its admin portal, Microsoft said: “The revert of the update is taking longer than expected to complete. We’re continuing our efforts to resolve the issue by also manually restarting the affected infrastructure to expedite the recovery.”

Administrators, doubtless weary from dealing with the creative approach to quality control, reacted predictably to the outage.

The Register contacted Microsoft to learn more about this change to improve user experience, which has had the opposite effect for administrators, and will update this piece should the company respond. ®

Updated to add at 1502 UTC:

Microsoft's 365 admin portal is still down.

The good news is that backing out of the update and, er, turning it off and on again seems to be working.

The bad news is that "the recovery process has been slower than anticipated" according to Microsoft, which noted: "The revert of the update is taking longer than expected to complete. We're continuing our efforts to resolve the issue by also manually restarting the affected infrastructure to expedite the recovery."

The company has also confirmed that other regions might also be affected, although service health was improving as of its latest update an hour ago.

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