back to article Unsure why you can't log into Office 365? So is Microsoft

Microsoft's Office 365 has been giving some users cold sweats. No matter how hard they try to log in, they simply can't access the service and haven't been able to for hours – others say it has wobbled for days. Sporadic reports of unrest began to emerge on Down Detector on Friday (26 October) in the UK and across the pond, …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    When you buy Microsoft Services,

    You get Microsoft quality.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: When you buy Microsoft Services,

      Rely on other people's services and you get other people's problems. The "cloud" for mission critical applications/programs is never a good idea in spite of the hype and PHB's who follow the herd and latest trends.

    2. EastFinchleyite

      Re: When you buy Microsoft Services,

      Strange.

      My copy of Office 2003 doesn't seem to be affected. What is this cloud thing that everyone is talking about?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: When you buy Microsoft Services,

        What is this cloud thing that everyone is talking about?

        It's a regular phenomenon that will inevitably go away again at some point..

        (My IT career seems to have spanned at least two incarnations of it)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "You'll need the Internet for this"

    No I won't. I've got the proper Office.

    1. yossarianuk

      Re: "You'll need the Internet for this"

      I have LibreOffice too

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "You'll need the Internet for this"

        You're using LibreOffice, aka reverse engineered Office 97 maintained by some nerds in their back bedrooms? Good for you, although consider upgrading to Lotus Shitesuite.

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: "You'll need the Internet for this"

          "Good for you, although consider upgrading to Lotus Shitesuite."

          And you are sat, twiddling your thumbs with MS support on-hold music...

      2. BobChip
        Happy

        Re: "You (won't)need the Internet for this"

        Correction - I have LibreOffice, so I don't need – or want – MS Office. At all. Simples.

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: "You (won't)need the Internet for this"

          I have both.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's Aglie

    Fail fast, fail often, then put it in the cloud. That is what is says right here in this in flight magazine. Oooh, look, platinum golf clubs....

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: It's Aglie

      Windows 10, Exchange, and now this.

      Never mind the testing, feel the Agile.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: It's Aglie

        The FR is silent...

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: It's Aglie

      "It's Aglie"

      You spelled "Ugly" wrong.

      1. Giovani Tapini

        Re: It's Aglie

        F@AC ail fast, Fail often yes, but when you put it in the cloud that becomes expected behaviour unlike internal services.

        We are learning (or being taught) to accept a Cr@p service because it's "Agile". I personally don't really want to be experimented on regularly with my primary tools my corporate masters decide I have no option to use however.

        Most people only use about 5% of the office capabilities anyway, and most of the changes now seem to be just to keep developers busy rather than improve the product. Win 10 is going the same way - development is becoming destabilising tinkering instead of actual development

        </RANT>

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: It's Aglie

          Agile is supposed to be how you develop something, not how you put in production. What is in production is supposed to be stable, but it would seem that the current IT crop has lost the definition of that word.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Come El Reg we know you want to say it...

    It has gone a bit TITSUP

    Not unusual these days sadly.

    I wonder when people will wake up and realise the size of the barrel that MS has them draped over?

    1. Vector

      Re: Come El Reg we know you want to say it...

      "I wonder when people will wake up and realise the size of the barrel that MS has them draped over?"

      It's not just Microsoft. Google wants you to do all your productivity work in the cloud too. In fact, it seems all of Sillycon Valley has been seduced to the cloud-side.

      I say, yet again, that all software developers who think using the cloud is a "good idea" should be dropped, on an annual basis, into the middle of the Mojave Desert with their precious cloud computing devices to see just how much work they can get done when there's no internet to be found.

      1. Jay Lenovo Silver badge

        Re: Come El Reg we know you want to say it...

        Inspired by previous comments, "the cloud" really is more like "the fog".

        Effectively surrounded and blinded to any trouble within.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Come El Reg we know you want to say it...

        In fact, it seems all of Sillycon Valley has been seduced to the wonderful profits of cloud-side.

        FTFY

      3. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Come El Reg we know you want to say it...

        "In fact, it seems all of Sillycon Valley has been seduced to the cloud-side."

        And they don't even have cookies.

      4. PhillW
        Happy

        Sillycon Valley

        I am so pinching that one

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Sillycon Valley

          It's more properly "Silly Con Valley". First used (that I am aware of) on the campuses of Stanford and Berkeley in the early 1970s.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Come El Reg we know you want to say it...

      "It has gone a bit TITSUP"

      oooh you can't say that, because it implies something similar to 'NIPpleS'

      /me runs and hides, now

  5. Paul Herber

    So glad I don't have to rely on Office 365^H4^H3^H2

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Mushroom

      I had an email where someone talked about Office 360 - it looks oddly prescient...

      The only cloud icon -->

  6. terrythetech
    FAIL

    Never really liked the idea of the cloud for this very reason, or come to that, Microsoft.

  7. Domquark

    I can't resist....

    In the words of Nelson Muntz - "Ha Ha"

  8. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Ah, the Cloud

    Wherein lies Cuckoo Land

  9. SImon Hobson Silver badge
    FAIL

    Why both sides of the Atlantic ?

    Isn't that obvious ? As was demonstrated when they had an "isolated" data centre failure, their systems are globally intertwined like a platetruckload of spaghetti. If you ever install a tool like Little Snitch and allow connections from Outlook one at a time then you will find that simply signing in requires the program to follow a long list of DNS redirects (from memory at least half a dozen) that send the connections all round the world.

    Given the way things seem to be built, it's a wonder it ever works at all !

    Also makes a mockery of any claims to be compliant with GDPR - I hope no-one here is using O365 for anything business related and relying on Microsoft's claims ;-)

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Why both sides of the Atlantic ?

      It's hitting us at the moment, it's already bad & the users are starting to notice....

  10. el kabong

    Have they tried turning it off and on again?

    Microsoft taught us to do just that.

    And it really works!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Have they tried turning it off and on again?

      THIS one really needs 30 seconds in the microwave

  11. HWwiz

    Crippled by Office 289

    We were totally crippled by this today.

    It has happened 1 to many times in the last year.

    We are now in serious discussions to bring exchange back online and migrate back to in-house.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Crippled by Office 289

      I wonder whether there is a Fado song about cloud migration and the subsequent disillusion.

  12. SVV Silver badge

    The cloud ate my homework

    Great new excuse. Terrible thing to rely on as a business.

  13. steviebuk Silver badge

    So that explains...

    ....why I had 3 e-mails still sitting in the Outbox when I shut down at 5. Didn't notice much, restarted Outlook and all was fine.

  14. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    So the 365 in Office 365 means...

    The number of hours between submission and resolution of your tech support ticket??

    1. Craig 2

      Re: So the 365 in Office 365 means...

      No, it means Microsoft picked the most ironic name in software history :)

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: So the 365 in Office 365 means...

      Hours? You wish. Try days, weeks, months, years, or Galactic Epochs. This IS Microsoft we're talking about. =-}

    3. N2 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: So the 365 in Office 365 means...

      365 fuckups a year?

      1. redpawn Silver badge

        Re: So the 365 in Office 365 means...

        "365 fuckups a year?"

        That's only one per day.

    4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: So the 365 in Office 365 means...

      The number of hours between submission and resolution of your tech support ticket??

      If you get a better Dominatrix than Miss Microsoft, the delay between submission and resolution need not be extended. Unless you WANT it that way.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please for the love of god find a way

    I thought cloud was SO much better, oh dear. But hey, it's just the beginning, wait when you can't log in to your latest and bestest W10 buid. Oh, wait...

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: Please for the love of god find a way

      That's why I sign into my machines with a local account, not a Microsoft account.

  16. jake Silver badge

    Unsure why you can't log into Office 365?

    No, I'm not unsure at all. It's because I don't use it, nor other "cloud" so-called solutions. I wouldn't have anything to do with such a stupid, moronic idea if they gave it away for free AND paid for the Internet access required to use it.

  17. tempemeaty
    Joke

    Offline 365

    There, fixed the name.

    * runs away giggling *

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: Offline 365

      Shame I can give you only one up-vote, this one deserve at least a dozen.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When you use a cloud expect rain.

  19. Milton Silver badge

    Incomprehensible complexity

    I have a tiny (almost invisible) scrap of sympathy for the manijur-level ijits and their hasbeencounters who get suckered into cloud: they are so frequently the kind of twits who say things like "I don't do detail", as if they're actually proud of their laziness, or think it's clever to make whooshing-hand-over-head gestures when challenged by fourth-grade arithmetic—it's plainly true that air pollution has caused a massive drop in intelligence, if corporate senior management are any indication—BUT, to topic: they don't know any better. They'd accept anything a Microsoft saleslizard said to them if it promised a boost to their "cost savings" bonus next January.

    We technical types have no excuses.

    We know perfectly well that systems (sometimes not even massively large ones) can become so complex that no one person, however smart, can hold all of its functions and foibles in his/her head. The ever-increasing layers of programming have run the gamut in 50 years from punching in hex on a pad to writing incredibly abstracted, layered OO code with mouse clicks. We can build very complex and powerful systems, but with ever diminishing understanding of how the clockwork really meshes to make things happen even on a good day. It's easy to write today in ten minutes or an hour what would have taken a day or two many years ago; it's also predictable that the old code would have been sized in kilobytes at most, while the new will scale to megabytes at least.

    My point being that the ever-increasing and supposedly productivity-oriented layering of the cloud in particular has created multiple and incredibly elaborate levels of abstraction, some of it the result of algorithms creating other algorithms, often monitored and checked and managed by code whose only job is to handle the inevitable errors and exceptions, with the result that (a) no one truly understands even a tenth of it, (b) it is increasingly vulnerable to tiny glitches ramifying through the entire thing, causing entirely unpredictable and often bizarre effects, (c) it is too big and expensive to re-engineer for reliability, so instead it keeps acquiring cancerous "fixes", which are really hastily-slapped on kludges of sloppy code upon worse code upon bad code upon mediocre code upon what was once, when you dig deep enough, half-decent code.

    At some point, the cloud becomes monster of dubious reliability and, even worse, can no longer be provably defined as secure. Both consequences should be scary. "Cloud" really does mean "amorphous and poorly understood mess".

    Executives and bean-counters aren't capable of understanding this, I accept (and are incentivised not to understand anything which negatively affects remuneration anyway) ...

    ... but what excuse do the rest of us have?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Incomprehensible complexity

      So- don't buy Miscrosoft products, then?

      Ok.

      1. GSTZ

        Re: Incomprehensible complexity

        "So- don't buy Miscrosoft products, then?"

        It's not that simple. While the Microsoft stuff is indeed awfully complex, the competion isn't much (if any) better. No wonder these overly complex and hence ugly constructs aren't reliable. And it is not getting any better as long as we keep focussing on low price tags (with hidden but tremendous high cost) - rather than fighting for simplicity and reliability. It starts way down at the hardware level ...

    2. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Incomprehensible complexity

      I fully agree with your describing the limitations of the Executives, PHBs and Beancounters but as for what excuse we techie-types have it is simple...We are ignored whenever the value being discussed is more than the cost of a cup of coffee.

      I have seen all too many times when some person arrives at the top of the tree and declares that all the core systems will change to match what they used at their last company despite the fact is will cost multiple millions and offer no improvement in functionality. The critical part is that this important person will then not have to learn a new way to enter their expenses into 'the system'. They carefully ignore that they don't even use these systems, that is what their EA is for.

    3. Domquark

      Re: Incomprehensible complexity

      "if corporate senior management are any indication—BUT, they don't know any better." "We technical types have no excuses."

      Sorry, that's wrong. Many of us technical types saw this coming a mile off. I personally saw many clients convinced to move away from having an SBS 20xx server quietly chugging away* in the corner of the office to O365. Is didn't matter how hard we shouted, how much we tried to convince the customer that what they had was more reliable than ANY cloud service ever, all they saw was a bottom line - "O365 only costs £xxx per year - Servers cost thousands" was a line I heard regularly. Customer convinced, customer moved to O365, beancounters happy. Of course, none of the beancounters had the foresight to calculate costs over [say] 5 years where an on-premesis server is probably cheaper!

      Us "technical types" were overruled by the management and the beancounters, who believed the hype spouted by the snake oil salesmen and that was that. They were convinced and, to put it bluntly, ignored the advice of IT staff or used it as an excuse to get rid of the IT Department. After all, why do you need an IT Department, when everything is in the cloud?

      No, us technical types can walk away with our head held high. We tried to tell them. We shouted. We tried to teach them. They didn't listen. There's only so much us technical types can do before their decision becomes their problem.

      *I have a customer running SBS2008. Still chugging away after 9 years. Not counting the broadband going down, it's only had a couple of hours offline for one failed HDD and a precautionary PSU replacement.

    4. jake Silver badge

      Re: Incomprehensible complexity

      "We technical types have no excuses."

      None at all. In fact, I've been making a pretty penny pulling companies back out of the cloud for several years now. "I told you so" cuts ever so much deeper when it's properly applied with a hefty bill.

    5. ma1010 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Incomprehensible complexity

      @Milton

      Your description (and very true it is) reminds me of the story "The Machine Stops" by E.M. Forster.

      And it makes me wonder about the future. What will our grandchildren do when the "Mending Apparatus" itself breaks?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Incomprehensible complexity

        What will our grandchildren do when the "Mending Apparatus" itself breaks?

        It may come sooner than you think.

        Book Review: Joseph Tainter - the Collapse of Complex Societies

        TLDR: Joseph Tainter argues that the root cause of civilizational collapse is because of overinvestment into and declining marginal returns on complexity. Societies invest in complexity to solve their problems and typically need to expend ever more organizational and physical energy to maintain that level of complexity; eventually, this expenditure undermines their material base, opens up a large potential gap where they could reap the exact same benefits but at a lower level of complexity (and cost), and the likelihood of collapse converges to one.

        You can read excellent summaries of the book by Ugo Bardi, and Joseph Tainter himself.

    6. GSTZ

      Re: Incomprehensible complexity

      Everyone who is not a C-level executive has the excuse of being powerless … whereas C-level executives have the excuse that they don't understand the nitty gritty technical details anyway because that's all too complex. Make IT simple again … (;-))

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Trollface

    Don't have the source code for your productivity apps?

    You ain't gonna debug that problem, even if you stay over the weekend.

    Especially if they have been complexified like a breakfast of a lard & muffin addicted 25 stone american.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Don't have the source code for your productivity apps?

      Glass houses & all that, DAM. This very august journal ran an article a while back allowing as to how the Brits are officially more obese than the Yanks.

      Which is not surprising, considering what goes into a "full English breakfast" ... probably quadruple the calories from fat compared to any breakfast that I ever had here in the US.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        You Americans are eating all the time, so what you may think of one of your meals really doesn't matter in the balance.

  21. Sixtysix
    Alert

    Why I'm cautious...

    Looking at O365 just now... and Office 16 and 19.

    Whatever we go, I plan to keep Exchange in-house for foreseeable future.

    My integration partner gets it... my MS Account Manager - not so much.

  22. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Orifice 365 finest vapour-ware available

    Any thing cloud based is vapour-ware when the cloud goes BSD (Blue Sky of Death ©), but in this case MS seem have excelled themselves again and so soon after their glorious Win 10 fuck-update.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "so soon after their glorious Win 10 fuck-update"

      Which will now be known as fuckdate.

  23. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    I always knew doing my editing in the cloud would be superior to using an installed utility.

    Wait, internet is down? No problem, I can still edit locally... D'OH!

    No, I will give up my install discs exactly one week after hell freezes over.

    1. A.P. Veening

      Hell has frozen over

      Please give up your install disks asap, hell has frozen over more than 1.000 years ago. At this point the Nordic mythology is correct, that idea of a hot hell was invented by a couple of desert dwellers who lacked the imagination of something cold being unpleasant.

  24. GSTZ

    Avoiding the cloud wherever I can ...

    … so I've just bought an oldfashioned MS Office package for my new notebook, rather than subscribing to Office 365. Works nicely, but for some reason the Outlook profile won't load. This article seems to explain why …

    Yes there alternatives to MS Office, but unfortunately it's very hard to boil an ocean ...

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: Avoiding the cloud wherever I can ...

      Buying MS Office? LibreOffice works just as well for most things and is free. And I consider Thunderbird a superior replacement of Outlook.

  25. eionmac

    Re-install MS office 2010 now ongoing

    Of the two (only two MS Machines here) Windows machines, I am about to locally install MS Office 2010. Other machines run on openSUSE so do not do MS.

  26. eionmac

    iI forgot to add all MS Windows machines also run LibreOffice and Thunderbird

    iI forgot to add all MS Windows also run LibreOffice and Thunderbird

  27. Kennelly

    fall-back position

    This is an example of why I still keep my *reeeaally* important information in .txt files.

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