Microsoft adds new Office 365 service restrictions as usage soars

Laurent Giret

With many workers around the world being forced to work from home due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Microsoft’s cloud services are currently seeing increased usage. Microsoft Teams, one of the company’s fastest-growing Office 365 apps reached 44 million daily active users last week, adding 12 million more users in just seven days.

In a recent blog post on the Azure blog, the company explained that it will make it sure its online services will keep up with the demand during this critical time, though the company will start prioritizing its cloud capacity to critical activities, including first responder organizations and critical government agencies.

“As demand continues to grow, if we are faced with any capacity constraints in any region during this time, we have established clear criteria for the priority of new cloud capacity. Top priority will be going to first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure organizational use, and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams. We will also consider adjusting free offers, as necessary, to ensure support of existing customers,” the company explained.

This week, the company has also notified Office 365 admins that it making some adjustments to apps like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online (via Here are the highlights:

  • OneNote in Teams will now be read-only except for Educations users. The download size and sync frequency of attachments has also been changed
  • Microsoft Teams has also downgraded video recording resolution to 720p, and the face recognition feature has also been disabled
  • Backend operations for SharePoint Online have been rescheduled to regional evening and weekend business for,s and video resolution on the service has also been reduced.

If Microsoft is now closely monitoring Office 365 services, the company’s Xbox Live infrastructure is also under heavy stress these days. “We are actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing the service for our customers worldwide and accommodating for new growth and demand,” Xbox head Phil Spencer announced today.