Microsoft’s cloud services are seeing huge spike in usage due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The company reported Saturday a 775% usage increase for services such as Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Power BI in regions that have social distancing or shelter-in-place mandates.
Much like fellow Seattle tech giant Amazon, some of Microsoft’s technology has become crucial amid the novel coronavirus crisis as people work and play at home. For example, its Teams collaboration app saw a 37% week-over-week spike in daily active users earlier this month. Teams users are generating 900 million minutes of usage a day. Competing apps such as Slack and Zoom are also seeing increased activity.
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Microsoft also said this weekend that Windows Virtual Desktop has tripled in usage, while government use of Power BI to share COVID-19 data dashboards is up 42 percent.
Xbox Live, the company’s gaming service, is seeing record numbers “as people look to gaming for social connection.” Microsoft is turning off some Xbox Live features such as uploading custom gamerpics to help keep its servers running smoothly.
In a blog post, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said it is “providing the highest level of monitoring” to first responders and health-related systems, among others. It is placing limits on free offers and certain resources for new Azure subscriptions, and adjusting video resolution for Teams calls. Microsoft is also adding “significant new capacity” for cloud services over the next several weeks.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last week that the company’s back-end systems are holding up fine, noting that the “scale for sure is unprecedented.”
“If this was a previous generation of data center architectures or software architectures, I don’t think we would have been able to deal with this crisis as effectively as we have been able to,” he said on CNBC.
Nadella also said he’s confident that Microsoft will come out of the COVID-19 crisis “pretty strong.”
Microsoft stock rose about 15 percent last week and is currently trading at $149.70/share.
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