Skype Skips Monday

Microsoft on Monday confirmed that network issues crippled the consumer version of Skype.

Some users reported no success in logging in. Others managed to log in, but weren’t recognized as being online.

The network issues affected only the consumer version of the service, according to Microsoft. So Skype for Business was still in business.

It’s unclear when Microsoft first learned of the problem or when it expects to resolve it.

“We have identified the network issue which prevented users from logging in and using Skype today,” said Leonas Sendrauskas, a Web quality assurance engineer at Microsoft. “We’re in the process of reconnecting our users, and focused on restoring full service.”

Skype Down, Skype Down

There are an estimated 300 million Skype users worldwide, many of whom depend on the service for a variety of personal and business calls, noted Charles King, principal analyst for Pund-IT.

“Those who are affected by the outage will feel some pain,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “There are many alternatives, from inexpensive cellular phone plans to competing smartphone-based calling and messaging solutions like WhatsApp and Viber.”

Microsoft is working on a quick fix to help Skype’s users get back online.

However, despite the Skype team’s quick reflexes, “the Skype outage highlights some of the problems of highly consolidated Web-based services,” said King. “Fortunately, these failures happen fairly rarely, but when they do occur, potentially millions of people and businesses can be left in the lurch.”

Despite the availability of multiple options that compare favorably with Skype, the service has established itself as one of the most popular Voice over IP platforms around.

Skype’s unplanned downtime will impact a lot of people and likely already has done so, according to Roger Entner, lead analyst at Recon Analytics.

“It’s a big deal, because Skype has increasingly become an indispensable part of life for many people. Skype captures a huge part of the international calling market,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “This isn’t much more different than having your landline or cell service go down.”

There just isn’t anything like the reliability, security, coverage and quality of cellular networks, said Ritch Blasi, president of MediaRitch.

“What you are seeing now is how usage impacts networks and why mobile carriers invest billions of dollars annually to improve their networks,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “WiFi communications depend mainly on the public Internet… and who is responsible for the maintenance of that?”

The Skype Is Falling

The #SkypeDown hashtag has been trending on Twitter and was used about 3,200 times by mid-day Monday.

Can someone please send me a telegram when @Skype is back working! #SkypeDown #Skype

— Fred (@fredbradley) September 21, 2015

So, #SkypeDown = fewer meetings today.

— Janni Aragon, PhD (@janniaragon) September 21, 2015

So, turns out #Skype doesn't like Mondays either… #SkypeDown

— Natasha Pristovek (@LaFibiola) September 21, 2015

Quinten Plummer is a longtime technology reporter and an avid PC gamer who explored local news for a few years, covering law enforcement and government beats, before returning to writing about things run by ones and zeros and the people who make them. If it pushes pixels or improves lives, he wants to learn all he can about it.

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