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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

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office.
  2. Health: Coronavirus death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased COVID-19 testing can reduce transmission — Hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Vaccine: What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do — Obama, Bush and Clinton willing to take vaccine in public —WSJ: Pfizer expects to ship half as many COVID vaccines as planned in 2020.
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.