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Skype: “It’s Microsoft and Your Fault”
Update 14:00 Monday: Here are some good reads regarding how Skype handled the outage:
- Andy Beal thinks they dropped the ball with crisis communications
- Om Malik wonders why he didn't receive one email with an update – great point Om!
- Peter Ha agrees with me – it's your fault!
- Dare Obasanjo from Microsoft seems to say "what else aren't they telling us, it can't be Microsoft's fault"
Skype has provided the full explanation as to what happened last week when the service experienced an outage lasting over 36 hours. They open the explanation with:
On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.
So if I read correctly, it was our fault for updating Windows. Blah. What would have been great is to start with, "We are sorry, we screwed up." Instead, they push the blame around. Double blah.
They continue with:
The high number of restarts affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.
Normally Skype’s peer-to-peer network has an inbuilt ability to self-heal, however, this event revealed a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly. Regrettably, as a result of this disruption, Skype was unavailable to the majority of its users for approximately two days.
So there was also an issue with Skype's software but this wouldn't have happened if MS provided bug-free software. I love Skype but am disappointed with this final update message.