Microsoft issues grovelling apology for Outlook.com problems -- mobile syncing still borked

Microsoft's issues with Outlook.com continue to rumble on. Following last week's server wobble the company has issued an apology for the temporary outage, explaining that problem was a result of a "failure in a caching service that interfaces with devices using Exchange ActiveSync".

The company promises that steps have been taken to ensure that "the service will be more resilient in the future", in a status update posted at 9:34am, August 17. In spite of this, a more recent update, posted at 19:36 -- and still in place at time of writing rolling on into August 18 -- states that "There's a problem with Outlook at the moment".

This time around, very little explanation is given and the problem status is simply "A small percentage of mobile users may experience intermittent issues while syncing emails". Microsoft promises that "We're still working on this problem", but there is no mention of a timeframe.

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It's not yet clear whether the current issues are a knock-on effect from the problem earlier in the week, or they are something new, but the issuing of the problem report so soon after the apology is somewhat ironic.

Despite having stated that "We have learned from this incident, and have made two key changes", the promise of "increasing network bandwidth in the affected part of the system" and "changing the way error handling is done for devices using Exchange ActiveSync", the system does not yet seem fully resilient.

If you're experiencing syncing issues, there's not much you can do apart from just keep trying, but you can keep an eye on things at Microsoft's live status page. Microsoft thanks you for your patience!

Photo Credit: Sam72/Shutterstock

22 Responses to Microsoft issues grovelling apology for Outlook.com problems -- mobile syncing still borked

  1. barely_normal says:

    And yet they have the cajones to leave up the "Don't get Scroogled by GMail" ad on MSN.com

    Hubris, indeed.

  2. newtech0 says:

    thank you

    new-tech0.blogspot.com

  3. David King says:

    Go Cloud!!!! Microsofts NSA cloud!!!!

  4. Iain Simpson says:

    why don't you just say MS issued an apology to their customers along with an update, instead of the stupid headline you have there.

    • Condor70 says:

      Because they arent the bigwig you think they are anymore and they know other services like this arent out for days on end. It's a complete mess

      • Iain Simpson says:

        the headline here is just idiotic, so they had a major service outage, things like that do happen, they corrected the problem and apologized to their customers, this article is just a cheap low down grab for attention.

      • Condor70 says:

        it's also a bad advert for outlook! Mind you never use anything from this lot and you'll be good to go

      • Mark Wilson says:

        The thing is... they didn't correct the problem! They said they had, but lots of mobile users still had issues. So it's an accurate headline rather than a stupid one. As I'm sure people affected by the outage would agree. For a company so keen on pushing online/cloud services, something like this is pretty serious... companies and individuals need to know that the services they come to rely on are resilient and that if/when issues arise they are sorted out quickly.

  5. Xuanlong says:

    That headline is such a cheap shot. Gmail has had service outages. Amazon has had service outages. Apple has had service outages. Pretty much every major internet company has had these same types of problems before, and it's the same story every time. Email or some other feature doesn't work for a while, they fix it, and apologize for the inconvenience. The only difference between this and every other web service outage is that bashing Microsoft is more popular these days. Way to trade ethics for page views.

    • Mark Wilson says:

      'Microsoft bashing' has always been popular. As has 'Apple bashing', 'Google bashing, '[insert virtually any big company name] bashing'. Reporting a fact is not 'bashing' a company. When Gmail goes down, that gets reported... it's not just Microsoft that gets it in the neck.

      • mshulman says:

        It could have simply said, Microsoft apologizes for outages, some users may still have trouble.. But that's not the betanews way.

      • Xuanlong says:

        It gets reported, yes, but not with such a sensational headline. It's never suggested that Google is "grovelling" for users' forgiveness, even when their search engine goes down and literally breaks half the internet like it did last week. I'm surprised a Zune comparison wasn't thrown in to this article in just for good measure.

  6. ModerateLew says:

    Didn't even notice.

  7. John says:

    My outlook is working fine, but I use the web version.. I noticed major lag repsonses in Windows 8 with the client app from the store so I have uninstalled since the web app is smoother anyhow.

  8. P H says:

    That's weird. In spite of all the "genius" h-1b workers M$ imports instead of hiring American citizens, their troubles continue. It seems with cheap labor, you get what you pay for.

    • Chris Bordeman says:

      I guarantee you this is exactly the problem. American programmers and engineers simply tend to be much, much smarter than cheap Asian imports. This applies to especially to developers from India, where the education system is a joke. I have seen it countless times: young American (or German or French or Russian) developers come into a job highly prepared, creative, and agressive, yet the Indian or Pakistani import almost seems to know little more than "Hello, World." It takes several years to get them up to speed, and many never really become the quality programmers you hope for, even though their wages quickly rise to match everyone else's.

      Sorry, just telling it like I've seen it, time and again.

  9. Chris Bordeman says:

    All I know is, on my Windows Phone, my outlook email account pulls in new emails but doesn't remove EXISTING emails that were previously removed from my PC or the webmail. It has been like this for a few months, since I first wiped my phone and put the outlook account on it.

    • GadgetPig says:

      @Chris: Are you using the Microsoft Office Outlook Hotmail Connector with Outlook 2007/2010? I find after you delete messages in Outlook 2007/2010 with the MAPI connector, manually force a send/receive for all folders...it should sync with your phone on next refresh. I use the outlook.com app on android and this works. You can also set outlook to send/receive more frequently, instead of every 30minutes. I also uncheck "sync this folder" for deleted items folder under outlook.com android app. I find that emptying "deleted items" folder in outlook 2007/2010 doesn't sync with android outlook.com app "deleted items" folder.

      "The thing is... they didn't correct the problem! They said they had, but lots of mobile users still had issues"

      My outlook.com on both web and phone (android app) has been fine since the fix around 2pm yesterday central time. Out of curiosity can you tell me what URL or forums shows outlook.com mobile users still experiencing issues as of today?

      • Chris Bordeman says:

        My phone hasn’t synced properly for months. And I use Outlook 2013, which doesn’t need (and can’t use) Hotmail Connector. Outlook 2013 syncs properly (as does the web); it’s the phone that doesn’t see the updated mailbox.

  10. Zootopia3001 says:

    How long did it take you to come up with the word 'grovelling'?

    • Mark Wilson says:

      About 5 seconds into reading the Microsoft statement.... Why?

      • Zootopia3001 says:

        Sorry, I don't see the grovelling in the first 5 seconds. If that's your definition of grovelling in a company statement, then ALL companies commit the act of grovelling in their apology statements.

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