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Windows Users Caused Skype Outage

By Chris V. Thangham     Aug 20, 2007 in Internet
Skype finally explained today the reason for the 36 hour outage of its popular peer to peer VOIP service last week. Skype blames the outage squarely on users of Windows, who rebooted their computers after a Windows new Patch release.
Skype during the 36 + hour outage didn’t give much explanation or apologies for the outage. It was back on service Sunday and issued a brief statement and a half hearted apology:
Take a deep breath. Skype is back to normal.” “On Monday, we’ll provide a more detailed explanation of what happened. Until then, we’d like to apologize and thank you. Precisely in that order.
And today they came back and blamed Skype’s outage squarely on the shoulders of Windows users. It said the following:
The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ 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 Skype’s 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.”
Skype said its own network and software had the ability to self-heal, but even that failed to work resulting in significant outage for its users. The Register newspaper said Microsoft usually releases monthly patch on Tuesday, this patch caused a number of Windows users to restart their computers. All the reboots of the users caused the Skype system to crash.
Some were blaming Russian hackers for the Skype outage, but the Skype’s Villu Arak said that is not the reason for the crash, it was the Windows rebooting that caused the outage. He or Skype are not apologizing much for this incident, they are just saying it is common occurrence in the internet environment and they are proud of the fact they crashed only once in 4 years. Ebay stock dipped by 1 billion dollars, maybe Skype's management can have a better explanation to their stockholders.
It may not have affected much the casual users of Skype, who could have used other alternate modes of communication such as Messenger chat, e-mail services, but for companies relying on Skype for international calling it must have caused a headache.
More about Windows users, Skype, Outage