Microsoft Reports 775% Surge in Cloud Demand – Teams, Xbox Services Optimized to Deal with Increasing Usage

Mar 30, 2020
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Microsoft has reported a 775 percent increase in cloud usage during the ongoing crisis that has put hundreds of millions of people under lockdowns and self-isolation. The company reports usage increase in Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, Power BI, and other services with surges mainly coming from regions that have "enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders."

The Windows maker said that it is "implementing a few temporary restrictions designed to balance the best possible experience for all of our customers."

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Microsoft cloud services temporarily tweaked to respond to the surging demand

In an Azure blog post shared over the weekend, Microsoft said it is tweaking cloud services "to streamline moderation and ensure the best experience for our community."

"We’ve temporarily turned off the ability to upload custom gamerpics, club pics, and club backgrounds," an Xbox support notification reads. The company said it is monitoring performance and usage trends of Xbox Live to optimize services for gamers while taking "proactive steps to plan for high-usage periods, which includes taking prudent measures with our publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours."

Along with Xbox, Microsoft is also making some adjustments to Microsoft Teams to accommodate for new growth. As we had reported earlier, Microsoft Teams has exploded in usage with the video conferencing app now having over 44 million daily users who generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes daily in a single week. But all of this means a burden on cloud services.

The company said it has made "temporary adjustments to select non-essential capabilities such as how often we check for user presence, the interval in which we show when the other party is typing, and video resolution."

Microsoft said that its top priority right now is support for critical health and safety organizations, adding that it is providing "the highest level of monitoring" to first responders, health management applications, medical supply management, and emergency routing and reporting applications.

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