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Skype outage affects users
Servers down, according to Skype reports, affecting users around the world

Published 27th May, 2011 by Penny Jones

Popular online communications tool Skype suffered another crash yesterday which not only affected services but its own website, its second outage in about six months.

Skype posted alerts updating users on its Twitter account.

It said: “Earlier today, a corruption occurred in a small percentage of users’ systems that resulted in some of our community not being able to sign in to Skype. We issued some instructions which would allow you to get back online, but understand that they’re fairly technical, and have been working hard to produce a version of Skype for Windows which fixes this problem automatically.”

Skype was purchased by Microsoft earlier this month for US$8.5bn. Microsoft said it plans to increase access across both company’s product lines to real-time video and voice communications through the purchase.

The problems first occurred about midday GMT on 26 May, and Skype later said it mostly affected accessing Skype through Windows. It said an update would be issued to users tomorrow.

According to reports on the Skype website, the outage was caused by a server outage, or a “short break”.

December’s outage was blamed on overloaded servers that were then hit by a bug.

Skype said at the time this had affected its supernodes, which had to be taken offline – these are the computers that connect millions of user computers and phones around the world that use Skype.

During the December outage Skype said: “Under normal circumstances, there are a large number of supernodes available. Unfortunately, today, many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype. As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for some of you.

What are we doing to help? Our engineers are creating new ‘mega-supernodes’ as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal. This may take a few hours, and we sincerely apologise for the disruption to your conversations. Some features, like group video calling, may take longer to return to normal.”

(Sources: DatacentreDynamics, and MemeGenerator)

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