MSN search engine suffers hours-long outage

The MSN search engine suffered an hours-long outage on Thursday.

Microsoft's MSN search engine, the third most popular in the U.S., suffered an hours-long outage on Thursday as queries returned an error message instead of Web page results.

The outage began around 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time and ended around noon, according to a spokeswoman for Microsoft. The company is still trying to determine what caused the problem.

The search engine, reached at http://www.msn.com and at http://search.msn.com, appeared to be working properly at press time.

MSN's search engine fields about 2.5 billion queries from users worldwide every month, the spokeswoman said. It ranked third in the U.S. in February with 13.5 percent of all queries, behind leader Google (42.3 percent) and Yahoo (27.6 percent), according to comScore Networks.

It's not common for an outage of this length and severity to affect a service of such high visibility from a vendor with deep technical resources and expertise.

It also doesn't help Microsoft's years-long crusade to give Google a run for its money in the search engine market. Microsoft has invested heavily in recent years to develop its own search engine technology and accompanying paid search ad network.

In March, Microsoft begin testing an enhanced version of its search engine, featuring a new image search service, a redesigned user interface and new tools to refine query results. The enhanced search engine, called Windows Live Search, is at http://www.live.com, and it wasn't affected by Thursday's outage, the spokeswoman said.

As part of Windows Live Search's announcement last month, Justin Osmer, an MSN senior product manager, told IDG News Service that Microsoft believes these are still early days in the search engine market and that victory can't be conceded to Google. "We see this as a long-term problem to solve. A lot can be done in search to make it a better experience," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?