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Microsoft's Bing goes down

In what could be a blow to Bing's image, the main Microsoft search site goes down.

In what could be a blow to its image, Microsoft's main Bing search site suffered through an outage on Thursday evening.

Visitors to were getting a browser error message rather than a search bar. Service was down for at least 45 minutes before being restored around 7:10 p.m. PST.

Microsoft acknowledged the issues on its Twitter feed and said it was looking into the matter. It later offered the following explanation, posted to a Bing blog by Satya Nadella, senior vice president of the Online Services division:

The cause of the outage was a configuration change during some internal testing that had unfortunate and unintended consequences.

As soon as the issue was detected, the change was rolled back, which caused the site to return to normal behavior. Unfortunately the detection and rollback took about half an hour, and during that time users were unable to use

We strive to maintain a high standard of operational excellence at Bing. We are running a post mortem to find out how our software and processes need to be improved to prevent anything like this from happening again.

A Microsoft representative did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

The outage comes after a big week in which Microsoft announced new search abilities for Bing as well as improved mapping.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. PST to reflect site's return. Updated at 11:13 p.m. PST with Microsoft statement.