(Update) Microsoft’s cloud services usage up as high as 775% due to remote work

Dave W. Shanahan

Microsoft, UK, Azure

The demand for Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud service, is up 775% due to the number of workers forced to work from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) shelter in place orders for most of the United States. In a post on the Microsoft 365 blog, Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, details the steps Microsoft is taking to keep up with the unprecedented number of workers at home.

Spataro notes that in addition to the 775% increase in Microsoft’s cloud services last week “in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders,” Microsoft has experienced increases in other services, including Microsoft Teams, Power BI, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop. Here is a look at some of Microsoft’s biggest usage surges in one week.

  • Microsoft Teams usage jumped with users generating over 900 million meetings and calling minutes.
  • Windows Virtual Desktop usage has grown 3 times.
  • Government usage of Power BI to share COVID-19 information dashboards with the public has surged by 42%.

Spataro notes that Microsoft’s top priority is to keep “critical health and safety organizations and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams.” More specifically, Microsoft is prioritizing the needs of the following organizations in this desperate time of need:

  • First Responders (fire, EMS, and police dispatch systems)
  • Emergency routing and reporting applications
  • Medical supply management and delivery systems
  • Applications to alert emergency response teams for accidents, fires, and other issues
  • Healthbots, health screening applications, and websites
  • Health management applications and record systems

Even with the prioritization of national health organizations, Microsoft will continue to support its other Microsoft Azure paid customers as best as possible. Microsoft is dealing with increased Microsoft Azure demand by restricting free offers on their products and services to focus on increasing capacity for existing customers. In addition, Microsoft set limits to resources for new subscriptions.

Have you experienced any issues with any of Microsoft’s services? Let us know in the comments.

Update 8:30AM ET: Microsoft has updated its blog post to explain that the 775% increase in the company’s cloud services was actually incorrect. The 775% increase was actually just for Teams usage in Italy, a country that was hit pretty hard by the coronavirus outbreak this month. “We have seen a 775 percent increase in Teams’ calling and meeting monthly users in a one month period in Italy, where social distancing or shelter in place orders have been enforced,” the company said. Thanks to The Verge’s Tom Warren for noticing the company’s updated statement.