Where have all the Skypers gone? Long time coming back
Where have all the Skypers gone, one day ago?
Where have all the Skypers gone?
Skype crashes have closed them, everyone.
Oh, when will they ever come back?
Oh, when will they ever come back?
Paraphrased with apologies to Pete Seeger.
It’s a popular 60’s folk song that comes back to mind when one wonders how large a “small number” is? The initial post from Skype about this service interruption (which has had three updates) read:
A small number of you may have problems signing in to Skype. We’re investigating the cause, and hope to have more details to share soon.
What was termed in Skype’s blogs as a “small number of you” appears to have become a significant portion of Skype users online. Have a look at this trend chart (based on Users Online data collected by Hudson Barton at Borderless Communicator):
June 6 represents a typical pre-interruption day. June 7 shows the impact of the outage on Users Online. June 9 shows a shortage of about 4 million users throughout the day (will be updated as the day progresses).
But there is one other Skype statement that I have to dispute:
If you were disconnected from Skype earlier, you shouldn’t need to manually sign back in to Skype – it should reconnect automatically when it’s able to do so.
Personally I found that when I went to Skype on my two Windows PC’s and clicked on the application, it effectively crashed with the dialogue box shown on the right. I checked with a couple of other users (one in France, one in North America) and they had the same experience. Automatic reconnection was not happening.
Based on the rare previous experiences when I had seen this, something was causing Skype for Windows to crash when one attempted to go to the Skype client once the interruption had commenced.
But there is one other learning from my experience with Skype (especially with project I was managing a few years ago). There are many installations of Skype, especially in business environments, where Skype has been installed on a PC yet rarely used, if ever. However, Skype is sitting in the background, logged in (because the default setting of Skype is to log on when Windows opens) but never used.
Somehow I suspect that these users of Skype have been either logged out or their Skype has crashed and they don’t realize it. These users need to somehow shut down their Skype and relaunch it; but given their lack of awareness, they may not come back online until the next time their PC is rebooted which may be several days from now. Just my “gut” hunch but definitely worth considering.
Bottom line: if these trends continue this interruption may effectively be a Refresh to tell us how many “truly active” real users are online. I’m sure Hudson will keep an eye on the situation and see what bears out by the weekend. In any event it’s a challenge for Skype to get these 4 million users back online using Skype.
Question: Is 18 million (or ~ 65%) of users – the Users Online deficit at 18:30 GMT Tuesday – a “small number”?
Meanwhile I’ll dig out my old Kingston Trio (or was is Peter, Paul and Mary) recording of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?’
- “Skype Has Stopped Working”: Another Service Interruption (voiceontheweb.biz)
- Skype Login Disruption Update: User Friendly Fixes Becoming Available (voiceontheweb.biz)
- Skype is Having Another Outage Today – Appears Widespread (But May Be Recovering) (disruptivetelephony.com)