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Microsoft probes Teams, Outlook outage as thousands of users report disruption

Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected but data from outage tracking website Downdetector showed more than 3,900 incidents in India and over 900 in Japan

FILE - People walk past a Microsoft office in New York, Nov. 10, 2016. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, Microsoft reported a 12% drop in profit for the October-December 2022 quarter, reflecting the economic uncertainty it said led to its decision to cut 10,000 workers. (AP)

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Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it was investigating an issue impacting multiple services including Teams and Outlook, with outage reports saying the platforms were down for thousands of users globally.

Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected by the disruption, but data from outage tracking website Downdetector showed more than 3,900 incidents in India and over 900 in Japan. Outage reports also spiked in Australia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

The Downdetector site tracks outages by collating status reports from sources including user-submitted errors on its platform.

During the outage, most users were unable to exchange messages, join calls or use any features of the Team application. Many users took to Twitter to share updates about the service disruption, with #MicrosoftTeams trending as a hashtag on the social media site.

Microsoft Teams, used by more than 280 million people globally, forms an integral part of daily operations for businesses and schools, which use the service to make calls, schedule meetings and organize their workflow.

Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp announced a further multibillion dollar investment in OpenAI, deepening ties with the startup behind the chatbot sensation ChatGPT and setting the stage for more competition with rival Alphabet Inc's Google, another Reuters report said.

Recently touting a revolution in artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft is building on a bet it made on OpenAI nearly four years ago, when it dedicated $1 billion for the startup co-founded by Elon Musk and investor Sam Altman.

It has since built a supercomputer to power OpenAI's technology, among other forms of support, the report adds.

Microsoft in a blog post has now announced "the third phase" of its partnership "through a multiyear, multibillion dollar investment" including additional supercomputer development and cloud-computing support for OpenAI.

Both companies will be able to commercialize the AI tech that results, the blog post said.

Microsoft's bet comes days after it and Alphabet each announced layoffs of 10,000 or more workers. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft warned of a recession and growing scrutiny of digital spend by customers in its layoff announcement, the report adds further.

(Reporting by Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu for Reuters)

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