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Take the morning off because Outlook has already

We're down to Microsoft 364 again by first week of February

If you sat down to work this morning and attempted to do something as routine as check your emails with Outlook, you'd be bang out of luck.

According to outage tracker DownDetector, reports began coming in of users facing a 500 error and being unable to send, receive or search email through from about 4am UTC, peaking at 8 and 9am as Europeans reached their desks.

Microsoft confirmed the outage on its service health website, saying: "We're applying targeted mitigations to a subset of affected infrastructure and validating that it has mitigated impact. We're also making traffic optimization efforts to alleviate user impact and expedite recovery."

It added that extra " functionality such as Calendar APIs consumed by other services such as Microsoft Teams are also affected."

At the time of writing, the blackout appears to be ongoing. As for what caused it, the Microsoft 365 Status Twitter account said: "We've confirmed that a recent change is contributing to the cause of impact. We're working on potential solutions to restore availability of the service."

In plain English, Microsoft tweaked something and the house of cards came tumbling down, so they'll probably have to revert the change. It offered the reference number EX512238 to track in the admin center and otherwise directed users to watch the service health page for any updates.

Until then, you have The Register's blessing to slack off – just check with your boss that you don't have anything outstanding that can be done without the aid of Outlook.

As ever, Microsoft's legendary approach to quality control is incredibly poorly timed because today the company is supposed to host a super-duper mystery event at Redmond that is thought to include a relaunch of its search engine Bing, now with added ChatGPT from OpenAI!

Microsoft has invested heavily in OpenAI and is already spraying its wares all over its own products, including Teams and Azure. Let us hope that Microsoft didn't prematurely flip the AI switch on Outlook, like this Twitter user suggested.

Another said to forget about AI and ML, "We need better HI.. Human Inteligence [sic] to prevent global outage on a weekday."

Once again, Microsoft proves that the 365 branding was a terrible choice that will come back to haunt them again and again. If we add the global outage from January to this Outlook wobble, we're probably down to Microsoft 364 already and it's only the first week of February.

Maybe just go with 360, like the Xbox, and add the additional days as another paid tier. Wait, that might give someone at Microsoft ideas... ®

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