Many Microsoft users were not able to access their cloud services about two weeks ago due to an authentication issue. It looks like the problem was not completely solved because it happened again on March 21. Microsoft’s cloud service went offline again, taking down with it several other services like Hotmail, Outlook, Skype, Xbox Live and OneDrive (although all services are operational now).

Microsoft surface book 2 cloud services
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Users faced problems accessing Outlook, Skype

Many users around the world reported the issue on March 21. The users said they were not able to sign into Skype, OneDrive and Outlook.com. The issue probably began at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. Outlook was down for most users as hundreds of thousands of Outlook users across the United States, Europe and the U.K. reported problems with it. Outlook’s home page was failing to load, making users unable to sign in to their accounts and read their emails. The Xbox Live status site also showed users having issues managing their content and signing in.

Statistics from Down Detector, which tracks social mentions around a particular topic, indicated that about 32% of users experiencing the Outlook issues were unable to access the website, while around 67% couldn’t log in to their email, notes Express.

A similar issue was encountered by Microsoft users two weeks ago. At that time, the Skype Heartbeat site posted a message saying that users may be having issues signing in and sending messages.

The message read, “We are actively investigating problem, preventing users from signing-in and sending Skype-to-Skype messages! We’ll let you know as soon, as issues are resolved.”

Microsoft not clear on what caused the outage

Microsoft was quick to acknowledge the issue, saying its developers and engineers were working to fix the issue. The company thanked people for their patience and asked them to stay tuned.

At around 3:25 p.m. Eastern, Microsoft said it was rolling out a fix to restore the service, and users should start to experience service restoration as the fix was deployed. By 3:30, users were reporting that they were able to sign in to some Microsoft Services, notes ZDNet. Though there were still some issues with some Azure services, they were also resolved in about an hour.

Later, Microsoft confirmed that Outlook and all its other email services were operational again, but it has not clarified what caused the same problem the second time in a month.