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Microsoft Teams outage sparks user anger, needling

Microsoft Teams users took to Twitter to express frustration and sarcasm over a two-hour outage caused by an expired authentication certificate.

Microsoft reported that its failure to renew a digital certificate caused a roughly two-hour outage of its Teams collaboration service. The embarrassing Microsoft Teams outage sparked some needling and anger from users on Twitter.

Around 9 a.m. Eastern time on Monday, Microsoft notified users on Twitter that Teams was down. About an hour later, Microsoft acknowledged a lapsed certificate was the cause of the outage.

"We've determined that an authentication certificate has expired, causing users to have issues using the service," the company said. Within an hour, Microsoft reported that it had started the deployment of a new certificate to fix the problem.

Website monitoring firm Catchpoint Systems reported that the Microsoft Teams outage started at 8:35 a.m. Eastern time and affected more than 20 million daily active users. The company said Teams users were unable to sign into the service through either their web browser or the desktop version of the app.

The outage comes as Microsoft Teams battles its rivals Cisco Webex Teams and Slack in the highly competitive market for cloud-based software. Companies get Teams as part of an Office 365 subscription and use it to let corporate employees go online to collaborate on projects.

Many of the comments on Twitter poked fun at Microsoft for failing to perform the routine task of renewing an authentication certificate.

"Whoops.... someone needs to set reminders, or rather look at auto-renewal policies via [Microsoft] Azure Certificate Manager wherever possible," said a tweet from Tanveer Arkate.

Other followers of the Microsoft 365 Status account on Twitter expressed anger over the inconvenience of the Microsoft Teams outage.

"Starting to regret using Teams as my VoIP [voice over IP] solution," said a tweet from Daniel Reis. "Not having access to the application meant we couldn't answer the phones. Trying to redirect the numbers has been a pain to deal with."

The self-inflicted outage comes roughly two weeks after Microsoft launched its first TV commercial for Teams. The company is pitching the service as the "central hub" for employee collaboration within an organization.

Microsoft recently announced plans to launch features that would expand the reach of Teams to employees other than office workers. A feature set for release in private preview by June would let people use their smartphones as walkie-talkies. Microsoft plans to target the capability at organizations with employees who, for example, work in hotels or on the floors of stores and hospitals.

Microsoft is also in the middle of a campaign to get companies to switch from Skype for Business to Teams. The vendor plans to discontinue Skype for Business eventually.

About a year ago, Microsoft Teams suffered a technical problem that prevented many users from connecting to the service for several hours. Microsoft did not release details on the cause of that outage.

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