My plans for this morning were severely interrupted when I attempted to use Skype around 8:00 a.m. (GMT-4) and I got the error message shown on the right. On further investigation it turns out that Skype has had another service meltdown, at least when using Skype for Windows 5.3.
Initially I checked my Windows Task Manager and found residuals of Skype.exe (two instances, in fact); I then “Ended” those processes and “SkypePM.exe”. Knowing that Skype was totally closed I then attempted to re-launch Skype for Windows. I could see all my Contacts; however, my “Recent” tab showed no “Recent” Contacts –totally blank. After another unsuccessful attempt I then rebooted my PC, got the usual list of “Recent” contacts in the “Recent” tab. However, no Contacts were showing as being Online.
At that point I checked Google News and found there were several posts about an interruption and references to Skype’s Twitter feed.
Initially I had to reset my own status from Offline to Online but even then the only contact showing as Online was “Skype Test Call” – which worked. I sent some test chat messages to various contacts whom I knew should be Online. Eventually I started receiving responses and a few contacts showed up as Online.
At that point none of my Group Chats appeared to be working; however, after another half hour I found that not only were my Group Chats operating again but they had restored messages which had been exchanged during the outage period.
The Bad: another Skype service interruption, so soon after last week’s. Hudson Barton’s Skype Statistics showed as few as 12 million online at a time when over 25 million are usually online. (Not a “small number”!) When I attempted to use Skype on another Windows laptop, I got the same “Skype has stopped working” message as shown above; in this case re-opening Skype did work without the need to reboot that PC.
The Good: Restarting Skype for Windows appears to now address the issue. Missing messages from Skype chat sessions were recovered once the service was restored. Also, of note, is that my Skype for Mac client continued to work through all this although messages to Contacts using Skype for Windows were again not getting through.
Hopefully the Skype engineering team can sort out what is behind these interruptions. Not having Skype access totally interrupts the workflow of over 20 million users. Frustrating!
Yes, you can try other services. But the act of one acquaintance trying to call me via GTalk was not exactly the smoothest experience and definitely not ad hoc! And, while voice quality was acceptable, there was a definite degradation without the SILK support.
Dan York, at Disruptive Telephony, has a couple of posts:
- Skype is Having Another Outage Today – Appears Widespread (But May Be Recovering)
- Skype Is Back For Me – But Only 2 Million Users Are Online (versus normal 25+ million)
- Skype down. Again. (thenextweb.com)
- Skype hangs up on users yet again (go.theregister.com)
- Skype Goes Down (Again), Users Inexplicably Blaming Microsoft On Twitter (techcrunch.com)