By Harry McCracken | Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 10:27 pm
Microsoft’s Bing search engine went offline this evening, greeting visitors with an error message instead of a pretty picture and a search field–for somewhere between thirty minutes and nearly an hour, depending on which report you believe. I don’t see any mention of the outage, its end, or the culprit at Bing’s blog, but as TechCrunch’s MG Siegler points out, a member of the Bing team tweeted about it a bit. And the official Bing Twitterfeed says it’ll share details when it has them.
The outage’s timing isn’t auspicious–it comes a day after Bing’s big press event and rollout of new features. But at least it’s in good company: Google had a weird hour-long period back in January when it thought the entire Web was dangerous, and Gmail has suffered multiple extended hiccups this year. I wonder what the biggest Web site is that’s never been suffered for more than, oh, five minutes of unplanned downtime?
[UPDATE: Bing has explained the problem–unintended consequences of a configuration change.)