Microsoft to enable IPv6 on Bing

After the IANA finally distributed the last of the available IPv4 addresses to RIRs, Microsoft is announcing that they will be officially rolling out IPv6 functionality for Bing.com on World IPv6 day on June 8, 2011.

As with any IPv6 enabled website, your ISP must be supporting IPv6 connectivity (see here for a rundown of how ISPs are doing in the rollout), and your computer must be able to use it as well (any Windows OS after XP SP2 will do). Microsoft plans on using Bing as a launching point for their eventual universal acceptance of IPv6 across the Microsoft universe. They admit that this process could take years, and that Bing is only the first step.

For more coverage of the IPv6 standard and how it will affect you and your Internet connectivity , see our explanatory post here.

The full Microsoft press release is below.

World IPv6 Day: Bing taking decisions to the next generation of the Internet

The Bing Team

2/3/2011 8:00 AM 

Earlier today, IANA, the international body responsible for distributing Internet addresses, completed its final allocation of IPv4 addresses. IPv4 has been the primary communication protocol for the Internet for more than 20 years, so this final allocation marks the end of an era, to the extent the brief history of the Internet can be categorized this way.

Considering the rapid proliferation of personal computers, smartphones, networked appliances, and other connected devices around the world, it’s easy to conceive how we’ve already exhausted four billion IPv4 addresses.

Microsoft and other major technology companies have been working behind the scenes for years to outline a clear path to the next generation Internet Protocol, IPv6. Although a complete migration will take years, we are hopeful that the vast majority of people will never notice the transition.

Microsoft has worked as a member of Internet Society (ISOC) – and more generally the Internet community – to invest in and ensure that there is a seamless transition from IPv4 to IPv6. It is especially important for Microsoft’s online services like Bing to be prepared. For this reason, Bing is joining other major websites in “World IPv6 Day” on June 8, 2011 as part of the Internet Society’s effort to validate the readiness of IPv6 as new foundation of the Internet.

On June 8, we will enable world-wide IPv6 connectivity to Bing.com, for the purposes of a one-day test. Consumers with IPv6 Internet capabilities will automatically access this new method of connectivity. This necessitates both a device that supports IPv6 (like a Windows 7 PC), and support from your Internet provider.

IPv4 traffic will continue to connect to Bing without any change. In fact, most Bing users won’t even notice that this transition is occurring.

At Microsoft, we have been working towards the promise of a smooth and prudent transition, and teams across the company have been readying our products and services to support IPv6. Many of our products, like Windows and Windows Server, have had robust IPv6 support for years.

This is another step in the multi-year process to shepherd in a new Internet era, with billions upon billions of addresses representing billions of devices and users. The number of addresses available under IPv6 is more than 300 trillion trillion trillion.

For more detail, you can Bing it: http://www.bing.com/search?q=ipv6

Kevin Boske- Program Manager,  Bing

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17 Comments

Well i guess it was inevitable anyways, work on it and get it going. No real point to have it now but then again no real point in NOT doing it also. IT departments all over the world are bored so this should at least give em some work to do

(i'm in IT and bored too, LOL)

I hope by then they also roll out that HTML5 version of bing they demoed a few months back, IE9 should be out by then.

GP007 said,
I hope by then they also roll out that HTML5 version of bing they demoed a few months back, IE9 should be out by then.

A "few" months? Try about five months back. They took forever on their last spring update as well.

But I think there is no many routers that support IPv6? For example I am using few years old router and ifconfig shows me IPv6. Doing ping6 on that I get that there is no route to host. I would assume that might router does not have support for IPv6. I think my ISP not going to upgrade any time soon too. It still might take years to fully adopted by IT.

david13lt said,
But I think there is no many routers that support IPv6? For example I am using few years old router and ifconfig shows me IPv6. Doing ping6 on that I get that there is no route to host. I would assume that might router does not have support for IPv6. I think my ISP not going to upgrade any time soon too. It still might take years to fully adopted by IT.

IPv6 is quite complex if you look at it from the same point of view as you do from IPv4. Typically, with IPv4 you get two IP addresses, your loop back on 127.0.0.1 and your card's Interface IPv4, such as 192.168.1.2 on a LAN.
However, IPv6 gives mutliple IPs on the same machines, for local loop back, local, lan and external internet IP as well as two others for broadcast etc.
So, fully configured your PC might have as many as 7 active IPv6 addresses on your machine all doing different things and connecting to different networks.

The 'no route to host' message you're getting, even with a IPv6 address, is simply that. It has no route to get to the IPv6 location you're trying to ping with the current IPv6 addresses your computer has.

So although your PC has IPv6 for your LAN, local loop back, local connections etc, it might not have a public facing IPv6 address that it can find a route to the host on the internet, outside of the networks its already connected to.

Hopefully that makes sense.


he.net will give you a tunnel, but you'll have to set it up and make sure your internet allows the correct protocols to your machine. It works, but only if you have a supported router, as you said not all are IPv6 ready and even more so, not all can support the type of 4-to-6 tunnel he.net can provide.

gogonet.gogo6.com provide a 4-to-6 tunnel, with very easy access along the same lines as he.net. However, they require you to use their own client and install a new virtual network adapter as they tunnel IPv6 data over your network using UDP packets.

A 4-to-6 tunnel will route all your IPv6 data through their servers first and onto the IPv6 internet, a bit like having your own IPv6 gateway on the ISP. Just remember, you DO have a public IP address with IPv6 and you will need a firewall enabled even behind your router as every machine with IPv6 is connected directly to the internet.

majortom1981 said,
MY home isp has no plans on implementing ipv6 anytime soon (cablevision).

Well yeah, might not be soon since they don't really need to yet i guess. I used them too! They lease about 4 million addresses currently for their ~2million online customers? I think the new boxes also get a IP address too but they have about 3.5 million customers in the NY/CT/NJ area. So yeah, "only" 500,000 more IPs or so left to dish out but they don't gain subs that fast.

It's not like they are totally ignoring it though, they forward 6to4 anycast packets to HE.net in NY for IPv6 DNS purposes at least. You can ping 192.88.99.1 or do a traceroute and see it routes packets to HE's servers (10Gbps OC-192).

majortom1981 said,
MY home isp has no plans on implementing ipv6 anytime soon (cablevision).

My ISP (Virgin Media) have stated multiple times that they have no plans at the moment to roll out IPv6 to its customers as they have enough IPv4 addresses for existing and new customers for some time yet.

sagum said,

they have enough IPv4 addresses for existing and new customers for some time yet.

Way to miss the point guys. New websites, services and customers around the world will not get IPv4 addresses from other companies that have run out of IP's. Pay attention that most ISP's are also hosts so it is not just about how many subscribers they have, but also how much stuff they host in their datacenters. Plus its not as simple as 1 customer for 1 IP, customer might have many IP's, the ISP's internal network need IP's, Etc.

It is very possible that you will not be able to connect to new services and to other users via p2p if your ISP doesnt support IPv6.

It is extremely likely your net will "break" if you cant connect via IPv6.

sagum said,

My ISP (Virgin Media) have stated multiple times that they have no plans at the moment to roll out IPv6 to its customers as they have enough IPv4 addresses for existing and new customers for some time yet.

That, however, is not enough. Virgin Media may have enough IPv4 addresses acquired for _clients_. However as the world will run out of IPv4 /24 blocks, ISPs at certain not so far point will start allocating IPv6-only web servers. To reach these, [clients+ISP infrastructure+Server's Datacentre infrastructure] all should be IPv6 ready. Unless their home modem/router is IPv6 aware, this will not allow to access IPv6 only resources. Even HE.NET tunnel requires ping reaching the IP address. If ICMP is disabled on home router, you're screwed...

So you can't just stave off the inevitable advent of IPv6. Might as well get prepared while there's still lots of time.

Nice to see the big corporations moving towards the future and setting an example for smaller businesses.

Julius Caro said,
They're just copying google!

Stop it, shame on you. What's wrong for a web service provider to enable IPv6?

GraphiteCube said,

Stop it, shame on you. What's wrong for a web service provider to enable IPv6?

Oh, I forgot. to use the [sarcasm] tag. My bad.

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