Microsoft's search and decision engine, Bing, experienced what appears to have been nearly an hour long worldwide outage this evening.
Reports of Bing's unavailability first surfaced on Twitter where hundreds of people commented on the issues. Initial reports suggested that the search engine began experiencing issues just before 9:25PM (EST) and for nearly an hour (until 10:10PM EST) Bing.com was not reachable.
Microsoft officials confirmed the outage, a Microsoft spokesperson commented "we're aware and looking into it...stay tuned". Amusingly the error message stated "Oops...This isn't the page you wanted!", no certainly not.
Yesterday, Microsoft took the wraps off its new Bing features at a private event full of Microsoft search execs. Company officials detailed new features including entity cards, task pages, and Silverlight maps and Bing Mobile. Microsoft first demonstrated the features to company employees during September and many dubbed it "Bing 2.0" as a result.
At a time when Microsoft is trying to capture a stronger search market share, it can ill afford to experience issues like this. That said, outages do occur, in January Google was down for one hour due to a "human error" and a month later the web giants Gmail service was off-line for four hours.
When Microsoft managed to bring the service back online, Tony Chor from the Bing team joked "Bing is back. You can all stop using Google now. :)" on his Twitter page.
Update: Satya Nadella, Senior Vice President, Online Services Division has confirmed the outage was due to "a configuration change during some internal testing that had unfortunate and unintended consequences".
Image Credit: TechGeekandmore blog