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Microsoft Reduces Some Office 365 Services to Cope with Demand During COVID-19 Pandemic

Microsoft has announced some service reductions in Office 365, specifically OneNote, SharePoint, and Stream.


Over this month, the global mobile workforce has grown by tens of millions as countries have gone into imposed lockdowns to stave off the (coronavirus) pandemic. People are now working from home and we have seen massive strain on services. says will have a reduced load to help handle the demand.

We have seen services under severe strain from more people using the internet, cloud, and streaming. For example, Microsoft Teams saw its daily active userbase double to 44 million within a week. Last Monday the service went down under the strain.

Companies have started limiting their service to ensure they can keep up with demand. In terms of YouTube and Netflix, this has meant throttling streaming quality. For Microsoft is means making some changes to Office 365.

The company is either reducing or limiting access across OneNote, SharePoint, and Stream. Below are the relevant details released by Microsoft:


  • OneNote in Teams will be read-only for commercial tenants, excluding EDU. Users can go to OneNote for the web for editing.
  • Download size and sync frequency of file attachments has been changed.
  • You can find details on these and other OneNote related updates as http://aka.ms/notesupdates.


  • We are rescheduling specific backend operations to regional evening and weekend business hours. Impacted capabilities include migration, DLP and delays in file management after uploading a new file, video or image.
  • Reduced video resolution for playback videos.


  • People timeline has been disabled for newly uploaded videos. Pre-existing videos will not be impacted.
  • Meeting recording video resolution adjusted to 720p

No Timeline

Microsoft has offered no timeline for when the restrictions will be lifting. It seems that will not be happening anytime soon considering the COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing. In fact, it is more likely Microsoft will announce more service reductions across more products in the coming days and weeks.

Last Updated on September 14, 2020 4:25 pm CEST by Luke Jones

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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