Users say they were unable to access Microsoft's Office 365 email and instant-chat Lync services this evening as Redmond's systems suffered a small global outage.
When a company signs up for Office 365, it is assigned an onmicrosoft.com sub-domain that glues its account together. This domain is used to create per-user addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org, to log into the Office cloud.
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As an example of how this setup works, for previous Office 365 articles The Register used tastypi.com which pointed to the Office 365 account tastypi.onmicrosoft.com. Currently, we are unable to use Lync or send email to any @tastypi.onmicrosoft.com addresses as a result of the outage.
Numerous other sub-domains of onmicrosoft.com were also affected, we've verified, and the issue appeared to be briefly widespread. It was initially feared a DNS cockup was to blame, but we're still investigating.
Microsoft declined to comment at this time. We will update as soon as we know more about what happened. ®
Updated to add
A spokesperson at the software giant got back to us after publication to say: "We have not received reports of any issue. We encourage customers who are experiencing an issue to let our customer support team know.”