Microsoft And Yahoo Confirm Search Outages

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Microsoft’s search engine Bing.com and other sites, including live.com, suffered a brief outage of somewhere around 20 minutes today, give or take, according to reports on Twitter and other website-monitoring services. While Bing.com and others have since returned (in fact, while we were reaching out for comment on the outage), we noticed also that Yahoo’s search service (powered by Bing) at search.yahoo.com is currently down, as well. We’re reaching out to see if there’s any explanation being provided for the outages.

When you perform a web search from Yahoo.com, you’re redirected to search.yahoo.com, and this has only been returning a blank page or, more recently, an error message, instead of search results.

In Bing’s case, the site was not resolving at all, though some report seeing the default IIS homepage instead. The website-monitoring service IsItDownRightNow also confirmed that the site was offline for a brief period today:

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Some reported that other Microsoft domains, including portal.office.com, outlook.com and hotmail, were difficult to reach, too, but we could not confirm this directly. These sites appear functional now, and in some cases, the website-monitoring service showed no disruptions or didn’t have data on the referenced domains. However, it does appear that Live.com did experience a brief outage around the same time that Bing.com was down (and Hotmail redirects to Live.com):

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Yahoo’s search is powered by Microsoft, so it’s not surprising to see both search services go down at the same time. However, at the time of writing, Bing.com had returned but Yahoo’s search had not.

During the time of the Bing outage, mobile assistants Siri and Cortana, which leverage Bing, were also affected.

We’ve reached out to both companies for a further explanation or official response, but comms and PR staff are still working a holiday schedule which means answers could be delayed.

Update,1/2/15, 3:30 PM ET: Microsoft has confirmed the outage with a brief statement:

“This morning Microsoft experienced a brief, isolated services outage which has now been resolved. Our apologies for any inconvenience.”

Update 2, 1/2/15, 4:20 PM ET: Yahoo has also confirmed its outage:

“We are aware that Yahoo Search is unavailable to users. Our engineers are working to restore the service at the earliest.”

Update 3, 1/2/15, 8:10 PM ET: Yahoo says search is restored. It would not comment on cause.

Update 4, 1/3/15: A source says the crash was due to a “bad code update.”

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Above: search.yahoo.com a few minutes ago. Below: search.yahoo.com now.

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