Microsoft sees demand for cloud services like Xbox Live soar by 775% as we work and game from home

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has seen a 775 per cent increase in demand for its cloud services, including Xbox Live, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an update on the official Microsoft Azure blog (thanks, VG24/7), Microsoft said that “in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place order" – countries and cities that are in lockdown, in other words – the company was seeing increases across all areas of its clouding business as people work, and play, at home.

"In response to health authorities emphasizing the importance of social distancing, we’ve seen usage increases in services that support these scenarios - including Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Power BI," the blog post said. "We have seen a 775 per cent increase of our cloud services in regions that have enforced social distancing or shelter in place orders."

In a written Q&A that specifically asked if the strain of Xbox Live was impacting on other Microsoft servers, the blog responded: "We’re actively monitoring performance and usage trends to ensure we’re optimizing services for gamers worldwide. At the same time, we’re taking proactive steps to plan for high-usage periods, which includes taking prudent measures with our publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours."

"Gaming is many things to many people around the world," further elaborated an update post on the Xbox Support page. "It’s entertainment, it’s connecting with friends and loved ones, it’s a much-needed break, especially in times like these.

"Like many of you, we’re adjusting to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our staff is a top priority at this time, but rest assured, we’re also committed to taking care of your Xbox support needs."

Consequently, the firm is experiencing heavy support volume at the moment, so "wait times may be longer than usual".

In related news, Sony recently confirmed that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has yet to have any major effects on the launch of the PS5, which is still planned for this holiday season.

While there are no known issues so far, Sony confirms, the impact of COVID-19 has already affected the launch plans of both Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Resident Evil 3 Remake.

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.