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Microsoft teams chat tool hit by outage as people resort to working from home

By Jamie Harris

Communication and collaboration tool Microsoft Teams suffered problems as people across the UK and Europe work from home due to the coronavirus.

The tech giant said it was looking into "messaging-related functionality problems" on the platform just before 9am on Monday.

At 10.49am, the firm tweeted that "chat impact has been mitigated".

It comes as a growing number of businesses opt for remote working to avoid spreading Covid-19, as well as universities moving classes online.

"I guess @MicrosoftTeams is struggling with the sudden influx of remote workers?," one user wrote on Twitter.

"@MicrosoftTeams you had the weekend to prepare your servers. Now get back online," another said.

Microsoft recently made Teams available to companies for free for six months in an effort to help during the outbreak.

On March 5, Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, said Teams was recently tested for "service continuity during a usage spike in China".

"Since January 31, we've seen a 500 per cent increase in Teams meetings, calling, and conferences there, and a 200 per cent increase in Teams usage on mobile devices," he said at the time.

"Despite this usage increase, service has been fluid there throughout the outbreak."

The UK's internet service providers have also assured that they are "ready" to handle any extra broadband demand if more people work from home as a result of Covid-19.

"Businesses and companies will need to ensure that their own systems, eg their server set-up, support a potentially significant increase in remote connections to accommodate the potential increase in traffic from their employees," warned Andrew Glover, chair of the Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA).

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