Microsoft is doing its part to help health workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The company says it will prioritize its cloud services powered by Azure for health workers and services. In other words, the company would throttle the cloud performance of non-essential users in favor of first responders.

One of the biggest challenges amidst the COVID-19 outbreak is easing the burden on health services. Global isolation efforts are as much about buying time for hospitals to catch up with the load of infected people as they are about protecting the population. Making healthcare workers a priority is something we have seen across various sectors, such as travel and retail.

So, Microsoft’s plan makes sense and would see emergency services and critical infrastructure ensured of optimum Azure performance. It seems the company took the decision after Microsoft Teams went down last week.

Microsoft has seen Teams’ daily active user base almost double to 44 million and the surge of activity caused the service to crash last Monday.


In a Microsoft Azure blog post, the company said it is “actively monitoring performance and usage trends 24/7” and will start prioritizing if performance dips. “As demand continues to grow, if we are faced with any capacity constraints in any region during this time, we have established clear criteria for the priority of new cloud capacity,” the company explains.

“Top priority will be going to first responders, health and emergency management services, critical government infrastructure organizational use, and ensuring remote workers stay up and running with the core functionality of Teams.”

Microsoft adds it is working directly with global governments to keep its local data centers staffed and fully operational.