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Skype faces second outage, already has fix

updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu May 26, 2011

Skype goes down again but gets solution

Skype on Thursday had another outage that was significant but milder than its earlier crash. The issue prevented some, but not all, users from signing in, making calls, or both. Some also reported the app crashing on launch and wasn't specific to Linux, Mac OS X, or Windows.

In a turnaround from its previous response, the company said it had already identified the cause and provided a solution to fix the problem. In all cases, the fix involves deleting the shared.xml file stored on the system so that it would be recreated from scratch. Skype hesitated to call the file corrupt but said more details would come "soon."

In the previous failure, which lasted for two days, the failure was the result of outdated Windows versions of Skype creating problems with the peer-to-peer nature of the VoIP calling app. It triggered a supernode cascade, where the disappearance of nodes as Windows users went offline put extra strain on remaining nodes and compounded the effect. The new issue's cross-platform nature suggests a wider issue at work.

Skype's shortfall isn't connected to its recent corporate maneuvers but is an ill-timed omen for its recent acquirer Microsoft, which is counting on Skype integration across much of its hardware and software in the future.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fitting in nicely!

    So Microsoft has already completed the takeover of Skype? Nice to see it's all running the way MS likes it to be.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Predictable, really

    This kind of problem is inherent to the way Skype's protocols work. Since by default everything gets passed between multiple clients (not just directly from your machine to that of the person you're talking to), if there's a bug that takes down random Skype users, it will cause an outage. And Skype's programmers and QA are not that good.

    Once Microsoft gets involved -- which they aren't yet; they haven't had a chance to deal with the code -- the quality of the service will probably go up, although by how much nobody can say. (One thing that they could do to improve the service immediately would be to provide a lot of servers of their own, to keep things going even when the clients are going down. When Skype had its last outage, they ended up having to do that, but they either could afford to keep that up or were too cheap to keep paying for it. Microsoft could afford it easily.)

  1. donmontalvo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Witness Skype's downward spiral...

    ...ya, I'm jumping on the "Now that Microsoft owns Skype, it's all downhill from here!" bandwagon. Let's see how stable things become in the coming months. Who knows, Microsoft might just surprise everyone...NOT!

    Don Montalvo, TX

  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011



    So now this site is going to report every time Skype is down just because MS is acquiring it?

    Let's report on all the Mobile Me outages too then. Like how it was down a few times just this week.

    - Droid does what iPhon't

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