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Friday, May 24, 2024

Massive outage disrupts Microsoft services, Bing, and AI tools globally

Microsoft acknowledged the issue in a post on X, stating that they were "working to isolate the cause of the issue."

On Thursday, a significant outage hit several Microsoft services, including its Bing search engine and various AI-powered tools such as Copilot and ChatGPT. The disruption, which affected users globally, also impacted third-party services like DuckDuckGo, which rely on Microsoft’s infrastructure.

Widespread Impact and User Reports

Users from around the world, including major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai, reported issues accessing Bing and other services. According to Downdetector, about 57% of users experienced problems accessing the Bing website, 34% had search issues, and 9% faced login difficulties. Social media platforms were flooded with complaints and status updates, with users noting persistent connection errors and expressing frustration over the service disruptions.

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One user on X (formerly Twitter) posted, “It’s not just you: Microsoft’s services are down in some regions. #Bing is down, #Copilot/Copilot in Windows is down. DuckDuckGo is not working because it uses Bing. Similarly, ChatGPT’s internet search is also down.” Another commented, “Anyone else having problems with Bing? I keep getting this today.”

Microsoft’s Response and Recovery Efforts

Microsoft acknowledged the issue in a post on X, stating that they were “working to isolate the cause of the issue.” By early morning Eastern Time, Bing had resumed functionality for many users, though some continued to encounter 429 HTTP code errors. While the Bing search engine began displaying search results again, other tools like Bing Create and Copilot Designer remained unavailable for some time.

OpenAI, which collaborates closely with Microsoft, also reported issues. Their status page confirmed that “ChatGPT’s ability to search the internet is being affected.” The disruption followed a week of intermittent problems with OpenAI’s products, including GPT-4 and ChatGPT.

Impact on DuckDuckGo

The outage also severely affected DuckDuckGo, a search engine known for its privacy-focused approach, which uses the Bing API. Users attempting to perform web searches on DuckDuckGo encountered error messages. The company acknowledged the problem, stating, “We’re currently experiencing an issue with DuckDuckGo Search that might prevent you from getting results. Thanks for your patience while we get our ducks in a row.”

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The timing of the outage was particularly unfortunate for DuckDuckGo, which had just announced new features, including a paid “Privacy Pro” subscription and enhanced syncing and backup options. Thousands of users reported issues, reflecting the broad impact of the service disruption.