Microsoft cloud outage hits users around the world

Jan 25, 2023 - 10:22 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft on Wednesday said it had recovered all of its cloud services after a networking outage took down its cloud platform Azure along with services such as Teams and Outlook used by millions around the globe.

Azure’s status page showed services were impacted in Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Only services in China and its platform for governments were not hit.

By late morning Azure said most customers should have seen services resume after a full recovery of the Microsoft Wide Area Network (WAN).

An outage of Azure, which has 15 million corporate customers and over 500 million active users, according to Microsoft data, can impact multiple services and create a domino effect as almost all of the world’s largest companies use the platform.

Businesses have become increasingly dependent on online platforms after the pandemic caused a shift to more employees working from home.

Earlier, Microsoft said it had determined a network connectivity issue was occurring with devices across the Microsoft WAN. This impacts connectivity between clients on the internet to Azure, as well as connectivity between services in data centres, it said.

Microsoft later tweeted that it had rolled back a network change that it believed was causing the issue and was using “additional infrastructure to expedite the recovery process”.

Microsoft did not disclose the number of users affected by the disruption, but data from outage tracking website Downdetector showed thousands of incidents across continents.

The Downdetector site tracks outages by collating status reports from various sources including users.

  0 Replies | 1,274 Views

Photos shared on WhatsApp could soon look much better

Jan 20, 2023 - 7:46 PM - by Reverend
WhatsApp has over two billion monthly active users, making it among the most popular messaging apps worldwide. It is used for sending more than just messages, though. People also use it for sharing photos and videos. To help minimize server load and save space on your phone, WhatsApp compresses all photos shared through it. The problem is that the resolution of the shared images is heavily reduced, limiting their usefulness. This could soon change in the future if the latest release of WhatsApp beta for Android is anything to go by.

WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is working on enabling sharing of photos in their original quality without any compression. The publication spotted the feature in testing in WhatsApp's beta for Android When sharing pictures, a new setting icon in the drawing tool header will allow you to change the image quality to original before they are sent. The new option is unlikely to be available for videos.

In mid-2021, WhatsApp tweaked its image sharing options and added Auto, Data saver, and Best quality options. The difference in resolution between the two modes was minimal, though. Photos shared in Data saver quality were sent as a 0.9MP image, while in Best quality, they were sent at 1.4MP resolution. In this day and age, such low-resolution images are of limited use.

The ability to share photos in their original quality in WhatsApp is long overdue and would be a welcome addition. Telegram, one of WhatsApp's primary competitors, compresses images by default, but it provides an option to share pictures in their original quality.

Currently, there's no clarity on when WhatsApp plans to introduce this feature to the public. It is seemingly still under development and should appear on the beta channel before making its way to everyone.

Android Police
  0 Replies | 1,399 Views

Microsoft Office may not open when you restore Windows 11

Jan 19, 2023 - 8:04 PM - by Reverend
If you’re trying to roll back Windows 11’s 2022 Update to an earlier point in time, be careful: several applications

Microsoft has published KB5023152, an error message that warns that apps that use the MSIX Windows app format may suffer glitches or simply refuse to open. In plainer English, that means that apps like Office, Cortana, Notepad, Paint, and Terminal may return error messages or simply refuse to launch. But other apps may be affected, too.

The glitches aren’t consistent, either. Microsoft lists the following as possible app behaviors:

  • An error message “This app can’t open” is displayed instead of the app starting.
  • The app might have multiple entries on the Start menu.
  • An app may not respond when you try to start the app.
  • An I/O error may occur, followed by the app not responding, and then the app crashes.
  • If you try to start the app again, the app now runs.

Right now, the errors only plague Windows 11 22H2, formally known as the Windows 11 2022 Update. Microsoft does not say that the company is working on a fix, however. For the moment, the company’s developers are stymied by the issue. Workarounds include trying to launch the app again, trying to reinstall the app from the Microsoft Store, and running Windows Update—all of which would be part of any basic troubleshooting.

Ironically, returning to an earlier system restore point is another typical solution to a problem with an application install, as Tom’s Hardware, which filed an earlier report on the glitch, notes. Hopefully, Microsoft figures all this out soon.

  0 Replies | 1,325 Views

Hogwarts Legacy - Official Cinematic Trailer

Jan 19, 2023 - 7:54 PM - by Reverend
  0 Replies | 1,704 Views

Instagram rolls out ‘quiet mode’ for when users want to focus

Jan 19, 2023 - 7:48 PM - by Reverend
Instagram on Thursday announced a new feature called “quiet mode,” which aims to help users focus and set boundaries with friends and followers.

When the option is enabled, all notifications will be paused and the profile’s activity status will change to ‘In quiet mode.” If someone sends a direct message during this time, Instagram will automatically send an auto-reply notifying the sender that “quiet mode” is activated.

While the feature applies to all users, Instagram appears to be focusing on teens. Instagram is pitching it as a tool to help with studying and prompting teens to turn on the feature “when they spend a specific amount of time on Instagram late at night.”

The tool will roll out to users in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and plans to add it to more countries in the future.

The tool is the latest example of instagram offering users more ways to manage their usage, after years of scrutiny over how much time people – and especially teens – spend on various social media applications, and the harms it can pose to their mental health.

“These updates are part of our ongoing work to ensure people have experiences that work for them, and that they have more control over the time they spend online and the types of content they see,” the company said in a blog post.

  0 Replies | 1,360 Views

Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees

Jan 18, 2023 - 7:47 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures, the company said in a securities filing on Wednesday, making it the latest tech company to reduce staff because of growing economic uncertainty.

Speaking before the layoff announcement at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company was not immune to a weaker global economy.

“No one can defy gravity and gravity here is inflation-adjusted economic growth,” he told WEF founder Klaus Schwab in a livestreamed discussion.

In a memo to staffers Wednesday, Nadella also cited changing demand years for digital services years into the pandemic as well as looming recession fears.

“We’re living through times of significant change, and as I meet with customers and partners, a few things are clear,” he wrote. “First, as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less.”

Microsoft had approximately 221,000 full-time employees globally as of June 30, 2022, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, with some 122,000 of those staffers based in the United States.

Nadella said the job the cuts represent less than 5% of the company’s total workforce and the reductions will be complete by the end of its fiscal third quarter this year, which ends in March.

He said the company will incur a $1.2 billion charge in its second quarter related to “severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation.”

“These decisions are difficult, but necessary,” Nadella wrote.

  0 Replies | 1,015 Views

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