VOIP services

Software Bug Stings Skype

Skype Ltd. is blaming software problems for outages affecting its voice over IP (VOIP) service today.

A message appearing on the Skype Website this morning confirmed what many users already knew: "Some of you may be having problems logging into Skype."

The company provided no details into the nature of the problem, except to say its engineering team has traced it to a software issue. Skype's statement also said the company expects the problems to be resolved within 12 to 24 hours.

In the meantime, the company said downloads of the Skype client have been temporarily disabled while its team works on fixing the problem.

Skype has about 220 million accounts. While there is no way to tell how many users have been affected by the outage, those who could connect to the service noted that the number of online users hovered around 1 million, compared with an average of 5 million to 6 million concurrent users. (Skype's record for concurrent online users is 9 million, reached in January.)

Being able to connect to the Skype network today was no guarantee of being able to use its service. According to some reports, while users were able to see active members in their contact lists, in some cases they were not able to connect to them via voice or text chat.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:03:54 PM
re: Software Bug Stings Skype Well, things are getting better ... "stabilizing, but this process may continue throughout the day," as the Skype home page now says.

Any Skype users care to comment? This is the kind of thing you had to expect would happen, eventually. It's certainly inconvenient.

I'd think most users are willing to give Skype a pass this time. Skype had better hope this kind of thing doesn't happen again, though.
Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:03:49 PM
re: Software Bug Stings Skype Most people probably saw this over the weekend; I'll post it here for posterity's sake. Skype got fixed on Saturday:

On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our usersGÇÖ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

The high number of restarts affected SkypeGÇÖs network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.

Normally SkypeGÇÖs peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly. Regrettably, as a result of this disruption, Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately two days. ...

trzwuip 12/5/2012 | 3:03:48 PM
re: Software Bug Stings Skype I was awful! I had to go back to ---- a land line!
I hate to see what my provider's bill will be. Matter of fact, I don't remember seeing a bill from them for a while.
zwixard 12/5/2012 | 3:03:47 PM
re: Software Bug Stings Skype There is nothing ANYONE can complain about Skype's outage. It is free. Free of blames included.
tailpin 12/5/2012 | 3:03:45 PM
re: Software Bug Stings Skype zwixard,

"There is nothing ANYONE can complain about Skype's outage. It is free. Free of blames included."

Isn't that a little like saying garbage collection is free because you don't pay the garbageman?

I don't believe skype is free, or free of blame. If you provide a service, and actively put yourself in a position that people are dependant upon, you actively undertake a responsibility to provide that service resposibly.

Although methinks Skype is less culpable than, say, RIM and the blackberry outage, but only because of the high powerred rich guys who were affected by that one.

Interesting question....how many Blackberry users also use Skype?

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