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Microsoft services down

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Microsoft’s search services have been offline for several hours now, with Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Copilot unavailable across the world. Even Microsoft’s AI-powered Designer isn’t working and can’t produce images. Bleeping Computer reported the outage at 4:44 am (ET) today, and Microsoft’s services remained down as of 9:33 am (ET).

Downdetector.com first saw Bing’s issues at 1:37 am (ET), which coincided with the time that DuckDuckGo started experiencing problems. We’ve checked locally and across the world, using VPNs and via staff reporting, and can confirm the issue is widespread.

Microsoft hasn’t released any announcements about the outage just yet, but DuckDuckGo acknowledged the issue on X. Google Search, Bing’s primary competitor, remains online. Google’s last major outage happened in 2022, when a software update caused Google Search, Maps, Drive, and YouTube to return HTTP 500 and HTTP 502 errors.

Announcement: 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…May 23, 2024

Microsoft is likely working hard to restore its services globally, especially as the company is losing millions of dollars in revenue for every hour that its search services are down. This is especially true as its AI Copilot services still rely on Microsoft’s Bing search servers, for now.

Global outages of major providers such as Microsoft, Google, and Meta reveal some of the weaknesses of our highly-interconnected society. Forbes estimated that Facebook lost more than $65 million during an outage in 2021. More recently, Google Drive reportedly lost months of data of several users (going back to May 2023). And these reports are just about the companies themselves — they don’t even begin to go into time and money lost by millions of businesses that rely on these services to operate. 

Fortunately, Microsoft’s current outage doesn’t appear to have affected other services or sites. If a widely-used service, such as AWS or Microsoft’s Azure goes down, the fallout would be much more significant as many popular websites and apps require said services to operate.

Anyway, it’s a good time to remember that while these big tech companies give us convenience, centralizing our data across a small number of servers is very risky — especially in case of a massive failure (or a direct attack). This is a good time to remind everyone to keep local backups of important files — perhaps on one of the best backup NAS drives — to ensure you can still access everything you need in a situation like this. 

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The post Microsoft suffering from outage — Bing, Copilot, and DuckDuckGo inaccessible for several hours first appeared on www.tomshardware.com

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