Microsoft has apologised for a 'configuration change' to its Bing website, which saw the search engine go offline for half an hour in the early hours of December 3.

Visitors to Bing saw an error message during the outage, after a change took the site down.

Microsoft has apologised for the problem with Satya Nadella writing about the problem on the Bing official blog.

"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 bing.com.

Strive to maintain

"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," Nadella added.

Outages are still a part of the online world – but with the increased importance of people's internet, as services like email and calendars move online – they are causing major consternation.

Both Microsoft and Google have suffered from minor updates that have taken down key services, but both clearly take the situation very seriously.