Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Troubleshooting Microsoft Services

Cloud Services | Online Services Status | Troubleshooting | Related Terminology

Connecting to Cloud Services

Cloud Services

The term “services” may be confusing because it refers to services both on the computer and on the Web (the cloud). On this page I'm referring to cloud-based services, not the services that run with Windows (see the Services tab on the Windows Task Manager).

At one time Microsoft Windows and all the software running on your computer was actually running ON your computer.

This is no longer true.

Access Everything Everywhere

Our world has become mobile and as a result it is no longer sufficient to have your data on your computer.

You now want to access the same information on your smart phone and tablet and at work. You want to move from your desktop to your phone to your tablet as your requirements change.

Windows Has Changed

Much of the software you run on your computer, even Windows itself, is now connecting to online services. This truer as you move to Windows 8 and Windows 10.

Microsoft has changed with the demands of its users. Many more services are hosted online to make them available whatever device you're using.

Windows 10 is Software as a Service (SaaS) — software running on the Internet.

Windows 10 is a mobile operating system designed to work with a Microsoft account, which provides access to OneDrive cloud storage and a growing number of online applications, such as Calendar, People, Tasks, Office, Sway, etc. It allows you to save files from your PC to OneDrive (eg from WordPad), as well as to create files online. — The Guardian

With Windows 10 you can even log onto your account on your friend's Windows 10 computer — provided neither of you has a “local account” installation.

Office Has Changed

Unlike legacy versions of Microsoft Office where you installed the product from CDs and were limited to installation on a single computer, Office 365 is designed to provide everywhere, every device access.

Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 is now a cloud-based subscription service that allows you to run Office documents on your computer, in the cloud and on all your devices, moving in-process documents between them as needed.

Return to top

Online Services Status

Because you're dependent upon online services (i.e. cloud services) a failure to get the information you want may have nothing to do with your computer or even its connection to the Internet. It might be that the service is down for servicing or perhaps has crashed.

So how do you check that out?

Checking Microsoft Services Status

Microsoft runs several different services and no longer provides information about all its services in one location. For most users, the Office 365 status provides all they need.

Depending on whether you're using Office 365,, OneDrive or Azure you can find out the status in these locations:

See also The Windows Club resource, How to find out if Microsoft Services are down or not.

Checking Apple Services Status

Even though you're using Microsoft Windows, you're probably using some Apple services like Apple TV or iCloud and iTunes to support your iPhone or iPad.

You can find out the status of Apple services here:

Return to top

Troubleshooting Other Issues

Still Unable to Connect?

If the service is running and you're unable to connect, check that your computer or device is operating correctly, is connected to the Internet and has sufficient battery life.

You'll want to ensure that any necessary app(s) are running and are not frozen or unresponsive.

Check Your Internet Connection

If you think that your connection to the Internet might be the issue, see Troubleshooting Your Access — when there's no Internet.

Check Your Battery Status

Other than a desktop computer, most of today's devices are battery-driven. Often they will disable services, including online access, when battery levels fall below a certain level to ensure longer battery life.

If you're having issues, check the battery status and plug your device into a power source to see if that resolves your issue.

Restart Your Device

If you're still unable to resolve issues, try restarting your computer or device. You'd be surprised at how often this resolves issues, particularly with Windows.

Return to top

Related Terminology

The move to online (cloud-based) services has brought about new terminology.

The Cloud

The cloud refers to an online service. More…

Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) refers to software that is run on remote servers.

SaaS includes online-based email, gaming and office suites as well as operating systems like Windows 10 that are largely cloud-based.


Azure is Microsoft's set of cloud services.

While Azure is aimed primarily at developers, you may be using Azure services if you're using an online service or app that the developers used Azure to develop or operate that product.

Other Terminology Resources

If terminology is confusing and you don't see it defined here, have a look at the following pages:

Return to top

Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

or check the resources index.

Return to top

If these pages helped you,
buy me a coffee!
Updated: July 6, 2018