Microsoft has seen a huge 775 per cent increase in its Cloud services in regions enforcing social distancing and/or shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. On March 28, officials also elaborated on some of the temporary cloud-service restrictions that Microsoft has put in place as a result of the pandemic.

In a March 28 blog post, officials said that demand for its new Windows Virtual Desktop usage has grown by more than three times. They also said government use of public Power BI for sharing COVID-19 dashboards is up 42 per cent in a week. (As is the case with Microsoft’s overall cloud services figure, we don’t have a base number for WVD and Power BI from which to calculate these percentages.)

Microsoft Teams now has more than 44 million daily users and they generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes, according to Jared Spataro, Corporate VP for Microsoft 365.

“Windows Virtual Desktop usage has grown more than 3 times. Government use of public ‘Power BI’ to share COVID-19 dashboards with citizens has surged by 42 per cent in a week,” Spataro said in a statement late Sunday.

Microsoft said, despite the significant increase in demand, it has not had any significant service disruptions.

“As a result of the surge in use over the last week, we have experienced significant demand in some regions (Europe North, Europe West, UK South, France Central, Asia East, India South, Brazil South) and are observing deployments for some compute resource types in these regions drop below our typical 99.99 per cent success rates,” said the company.

Microsoft has implemented a few temporary restrictions designed to balance the best possible experience for its customers.

“We have placed limits on free offers to prioritize capacity for existing customers. We also have limits on certain resources for new subscriptions. These are ‘soft’ quota limits, and customers can raise support requests to increase these limits,” informed Spataro.

Impacted customers and partners are notified through the Service Health experience in the Azure portal and/or in the Microsoft 365 admin center.

On Xbox Live usage, Microsoft said it is actively monitoring performance and usage trends.

“At the same time, we’re taking proactive steps to plan for high-usage periods, which includes taking prudent measures with our publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours,” the tech giant noted.

Microsoft said it has been in discussions with several internet service providers (ISPs) that are taking measures to reduce bandwidth from video sources in order to enable their networks to be performant during the workday.