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Microsoft Sees a 775% Spike in Cloud Services in Regions With Social Distancing

By John Ballard - Mar 30, 2020 at 9:06AM

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The global pandemic is testing the limits of the cloud infrastructure across entertainment, gaming, and enterprise services.

Online infrastructure is under strain as more people work from home and practice social distancing. One industry that is benefiting from this is cloud services. Microsoft (MSFT -0.40%) is seeing a significant increase in Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Power BI, which are powered by Microsoft Azure -- the second largest cloud services provider behind's (AMZN 0.14%) Amazon Web Services. 

"We have seen a 775 percent increase of our cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders," as Microsoft reported in a blog update on March 28. 

Two men walking through a room full of servers.

Image source: Getty Images.

Additional capacity is on the way

Microsoft Teams now has 44 million daily users who created over 900 million meeting and calling minutes in a single week. Microsoft also said Windows Virtual Desktop has grown more than three times, and government use of Power BI to share COVID-19 dashboards with citizens has increased by 42%. 

Several tech companies are adjusting their download speeds as more people are relying on internet access more than ever. Sony (SONY -0.32%) has slowed the download speeds for the PlayStation 4 game console in the U.S. and Europe. Streaming providers, such as Netflix (NFLX 1.67%), Alphabet's (GOOG 0.45%) (GOOGL 0.52%) YouTube, and Amazon Prime have also throttled streaming speeds to avoid traffic overload. 

Microsoft has not seen any significant disruptions to service despite the spike in usage, as reported in the blog update. The company has put some restrictions in place to prioritize capacity for existing customers. Microsoft also said it is adding new capacity in the short term to handle the increase in demand in the regions that need it most. 

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. John Ballard owns shares of Amazon and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Microsoft, and Netflix and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $85 calls on Microsoft, short January 2021 $115 calls on Microsoft, short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon, and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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