Mar 30, 2020 - Technology

Microsoft Teams usage up in areas with social distancing measures

Ina Fried, author of Login

Photo: Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images

Microsoft says it has seen some significant spikes in some applications where there are shelter-in-place or social distancing rules.

Why it matters: The increased cloud demand adds to the strain on the internet, but companies whose key apps are in the cloud are far more easily able to accommodate a remote workforce than those that rely on their own servers.

  • The company has also seen Windows Virtual Desktop usage more than triple and a 42% increase in government use of Microsoft's Power BI as entities look to share COVID-19 dashboards.
  • Microsoft said it will continue to prioritize first responders, medical supply chains, chatbots for health screening, and other health-related websites. The company said it has seen stronger demand in a number of geographies, but said, "Despite the significant increase in demand, we have not had any significant service disruptions."
  • Microsoft said monthly usage of the calling and meeting features of Microsoft Teams increased 775% in Italy over a one-month period during the outbreak.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct inaccurate information provided by Microsoft. The company originally said in a blog post Friday that it had seen a 775% increase in cloud services in areas with social distancing measures. On Monday, Microsoft updated its post, crossing out that information and replacing it with a paragraph saying the 775% actually applied only to the calling and meeting features of Microsoft Teams, and only in Italy, for a one-month period.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases spike in Texas, Oregon and Arizona

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Texas, Arizona and Oregon saw significant spikes last week in new coronavirus infections, while cases also continued to climb in a handful of states where steady increases have become the norm.

Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.

Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 3% on Friday after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report showed that an economic recovery could be underway.

The state of play: Stocks have rallied since the worst of the coronavirus sell-off ended in late March and looked past a spate of ugly economic reports — not to mention civil unrest.

The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut

Adam Hansmann (left) and Alex Mather (right), co-founders of The Athletic. Photo: Steph Gray, courtesy of The Athletic

The Athletic is laying off nearly 8% of staff, 46 people, according to an internal memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's the latest media company that's been been forced to take drastic measures to survive the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Like many sports media outlets, The Athletic has been particularly impacted by the loss of live sports.