Microsoft to offer service credits to customers hit by Office 365 outages

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A bug with one of the anti-virus engines used to clean email messages of malware caused an outage in Microsoft's Office 365 Exchange service for many customers in both North and South America. This was quickly rectified, but was followed by another outage barely a week later. The latter incident was attributed to a combination of issues relating to increased load, maintenance and "network element failures."

The details were outlined in a candid blog posted by Rajesh Jha, vice president of the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Office Division. "I'd like to apologize to you, our customers and partners, for the obvious inconveniences these issues caused," writes Jha, who also noted that "Microsoft appreciate[s] the serious responsibility we have as a service provider to you, and we know that any issue with the service is a disruption to your business--that's not acceptable."

This is a refreshing change from the vague descriptions usually given for cloud outages, and usually includes only a grudging apology. Jha also promised that Microsoft will be "proactively issuing a service credit" to impacted customers.

While a service credit cannot compensate for the loss of productivity experienced by businesses, some of the IT professionals who commented in response to the blog post praised Jha for his high level of transparency. A user named orcmid wrote, "I commend the trustworthiness that is exhibited by the care reflected in your account and how the breakdown is dealt with and accounted for."

Others however, took issue with the Service Health Dashboard that Jha encouraged customers to check. Their complaint was that the dashboard was badly out-of-date and did not accurately reflect a spike in service calls that started hours earlier.

For more:
- check out this blog at Office 365

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