Microsoft Bing Outage Takes Down Copilot and ChatGPT Web Searches

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Key Takeaways

  • A Bing outage took down web searches for ChatGPT Plus and Copilot.
  • DuckDuck Go and other Bing-dependent search engines also went down.
  • The exact cause isn't yet clear.

A Microsoft Bing platform outage knocked web searches offline for about five hours at some of the largest generative AI services, including the company’s own Copilot and ChatGPT Plus

As TechCrunch noted, you wouldn’t get any results if you tried to search the web with ChatGPT Plus or Copilot. Third-party search engines dependent on Bing, such as DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, also failed during the outage.

It’s not clear exactly what failed beyond the Bing API (application programming interface). In a statement to Techopedia, a Microsoft spokesperson said the firm was in the midst of restoring access to a “limited number” of services. In a mid-morning status update, the company said it was still isolating the cause.

The outage was ill-timed. Microsoft only just introduced Copilot+ PCs where the company’s AI features play a pivotal role. Downtime like this wouldn’t completely neuter the new computers, but it would affect the reliability of a tentpole feature.

The incident also underscores the problems with depending on another company’s API for service. ChatGPT Plus lost one of its key advantages, while DuckDuckGo was effectively unusable. While problems like this are rare, they can hobble entire companies and the customers that rely on them.

This also illustrates Bing’s growing influence. While Google remains the dominant web search provider, the rise of AI has made Microsoft’s in-house search valuable to companies that can’t build engines with similar capabilities.  That, in turn, might also help it fend off and other AI-driven search tools.