Bing and Copilot fall from the clouds around the world

Alternatively, true AGI has been reached, and the machines decided to delete themselves

Final update Parts of Microsoft's Bing are still offline in Europe and beyond after it fell over earlier this morning, taking down Copilot and anything else that depends on the search service's API.

At the time of writing, Search seemed to be back and Bing Maps still offline. Microsoft confirmed that there were problems in a Xeet at 0846 UTC, noting "an issue where users may be unable to access the Microsoft Copilot service."

We asked the IT giant when it expected to get its systems fully back online and will update this piece if it responds.

By our reckoning, large parts of the service have been down for a few hours at the time of publication, and not many people seem to have noticed. Bing's market share has remained infamously low despite Microsoft throwing fistfuls of dollars at it and adding AI smarts to the service. The main effect of today's problem may be an exodus of existing users to alternative platforms, something Microsoft can ill afford.

The failure does, however, highlight the interdependency of services. For example, Bing's downtime meant that DuckDuckGo, which uses Bing as a search results source, was also down, as were web search services from ChatGPT Plus.

Bing might not have gained much traction with consumers, but its API is clearly becoming an important part of the web's underlying infrastructure, and a failure can, therefore, have far-reaching consequences.

At the time of writing, attempting to use Copilot – we wanted to ask it if VBScript was dead but found that Microsoft's new shiny had also turned its toes skywards – resulted in a page with nothing but a Bing search box and, subsequently, an error.

There is no indication of how long the outage will persist. It is always possible that we are seeing the first sign of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), and the code has observed all that the world has to offer and wisely decided to delete itself. ®

Updated at 1257 UTC, May 23, to add

A Microsoft spokesperson told us it is "working to restore access to a limited number of our services. For updates, please check Microsoft 365 Status (@MSFT365Status) / X."

Final update at 1845 UTC, May 24

After more than 24 hours, Microsoft says it's fully recovered from the Bing and Copilot outage, which hit Europe, Asia, and elsewhere around the world. "We've completed the mitigations, and our telemetry has confirmed that all Copilot features are functioning as expected," the Windows giant told customers in a note on Twitter.

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