MSN Search Outage

First of all, we’d like to apologize for the lateness of this blog post. We know folks have been concerned about the recent outage of MSN Search, what that means for them and us, and what we are doing to address it. A lot of the team was engaged in technical matters yesterday and today is really the first chance we’ve had to catch our breath and talk more about it. Next time we will be more ready to blog and let you know what the word is.
Second, we’d like to apologize for the outage itself. It’s not the kind of thing you expect from us, and it’s not frankly what we expected either. We are still troubleshooting the cause of the failure at this time, and to assist us in that we have disabled the speller function of Search. Once we are done, that functionality will be restored, but for now, we ask that you bear with us as we figure out what went awry. People are monitoring the servers minute-by-minute, working on this. We know it is important to you. People here feel like they’ve been punched in the stomach when the site goes down – it’s important to us too.
Sometimes we find the answer quickly and sometimes it takes quite awhile to diagnose. Typically the length of time it takes to diagnose correlates to the severity of the outage. Say you are in a car accident – a rear-end collision at 10mph can turn into a 10-car pileup, and the folks at the end of the line have a hard time figuring out exactly why their car was affected. This one is taking us more time, and we wish it wasn’t . We will definitely keep you posted as things progress.

Delighting our customers is our #1 job.  Yesterday we didn’t do our job.  Everyone here on the search team is dedicated to bringing you the best answer to your query – whenever you ask it.  We’re still new to the search business – and in many ways we’re still learning.

Ken Moss
General Manager Web Search