[OUTAGE SUMMARY] Bing, DuckDuckGo, ChatGPT, Copilot Affected

Joseph Adebayo

On Thursday morning, a major outage affected several prominent web search and AI tools, including Microsoft’s Bing, DuckDuckGo, ChatGPT, and Microsoft’s AI Copilot. The disruption left many users unable to access these services, highlighting the critical dependence on these technologies in everyday digital activities.

What’s Happening & Why This Matters

Users in the US experienced issues accessing a range of search and AI tools. Microsoft’s Bing search engine, the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo, OpenAI’s ChatGPT search capabilities, and Microsoft’s Copilot AI tool were all hit by the outage.

  • Around 4:21 a.m. ET, DuckDuckGo users reported issues with search results on desktop browsers. The company acknowledged the problem, stating they were working to resolve it.
  • By 4:45 a.m. ET, some users encountered 429 HTTP code errors on Bing.com.
  • At 6:30 a.m. ET, DuckDuckGo and Copilot were still down for numerous users. Bing’s website began to show search results again, though its Bing Create and Copilot Designer tools remained inaccessible.

Impact & Reactions

DuckDuckGo’s New Features: The outage came a day after DuckDuckGo announced new features, including a paid “Privacy Pro” subscription and enhanced syncing and backup options. Thousands of users reported issues with DuckDuckGo, as noted by DownDetector.com.

Bing and Microsoft Services: Users encountered errors on Bing’s main site and its associated AI tools. PCMag reported that Microsoft’s Copilot was unable to connect on both Windows 11’s taskbar and the Edge browser.

ChatGPT’s Connectivity Issues: OpenAI’s status page indicated that ChatGPT’s internet search capability was affected, likely due to its reliance on Bing as the default search engine. This incident followed a series of errors with OpenAI’s products earlier in the week.

The outage disrupted thousands of users’ access to vital search and AI tools, highlighting the reliance on these services for everyday tasks. Users expressed frustration on social media and platforms like DownDetector. The swift acknowledgment and transparency from affected companies like DuckDuckGo and OpenAI shows that clear communications during service disruptions raises customer confidence. Keeping users informed manages expectations and reduces overall frustrations.

TF Summary: What’s Next

As the affected companies work to restore full functionality, this incident serves as a reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in digital infrastructure. Improvements in redundancy, server capacity, and real-time monitoring can prevent future outages. Users can expect more detailed post-mortem reports from these companies — outlining the causes and steps taken to mitigate similar issues in the future.

Enhanced transparency and robust infrastructure investments maintain trust and service reliability.

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By Joseph Adebayo “TF UX”
Joseph Adebayo is the user experience maestro. With a degree in Graphic Design and certification in User Experience, he has worked as a UX designer in various tech firms. Joseph's expertise lies in evaluating products not just for their technical prowess but for their usability, design, and consumer appeal. He believes that technology should be accessible, intuitive, and aesthetically pleasing.
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