Microsoft’s Outlook, Skype, and other major services are down around the world

Skype, Outlook email access, and Xbox Live, some of Microsoft’s most popular online services, appear to be down in many countries for several hours, according to a flood of complaints from users on social media.

Microsoft confirms the outages but won’t give further details. A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Quartz: “We are aware of reports that some users are having difficulty signing in to some services. We are investigating this issue.”

Outlook, the email service that was rebranded from Hotmail, appears to be down across Europe and the northeastern United States. XboxLive services also appear to be affected in the same regions. Skype seems to be hit in Japan and the US east coast.

Map of Outlook outages, Mar 7 2017.

Users report error messages saying the server can’t sign them in, or declaring correct passwords to be incorrect. There appears to be a problem with Microsoft’s authentication servers, as trade publication Computing has pointed out. Users started reporting problems around mid-day in the UK.

One outage detector service suggests that Outlook and Skype services are being restored to normal:

But OneDrive and XboxLive services are seeing an increasing volume of outage reports:

Last October, swathes of the internet went down after a key piece of online infrastructure was pummelled by streams of traffic from hijacked Internet of Things devices. Just last week the internet experienced another large-scale disruption of online services. That was when Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) cloud service went down, bringing with it third-party services like Slack, Trello, and Venmo. That disruption was caused by a typo by an Amazon employee—maybe we’ll find out if it was something as innocuous as that from Microsoft in the near future.

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