Microsoft's Live Search Program Crashes On Black Friday

Microsoft's Live Search cashback program—which gives rebates to those who comparison shop online and choose stores that are part of the program—was a bit too popular on Black Friday (Nov. 28) and crashed for several hours, leaving consumers with no cash back and a lot of anger.

Microsoft officials confirmed the outage on Monday (Dec. 1), blaming a tidal wave of traffic.

"We want to respond to those of you who've commented about your problems using cashback last Friday," said a statement from Rajat Taneja, Microsoft's general manager for worldwide commercial search. "For a few hours on Friday, November 28, Live Search cashback experienced an unexpected outage. If you completed a purchase that day, you can follow up on a cashback rebate. Be sure to have the order number and the E-mail address provided for the transaction."

The statement said that "a significant spike in traffic caused the system to go down for several hours" on Black Friday. "The downtime was partly related to investigating the issue and partly to rebuilding and redeploying the databases and indexes that support Microsoft Live Search cashback. The issues that caused Friday's problem have been resolved. We're confident we won't have further problems. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Taneja also daringly promised that "The issues that caused Friday's problem have been resolved. We're confident we won't have further problems."

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