I did a really quick search on Google and was not able to find any reasonable explanation nor the conspiracy theory about such a wide outage. I really liked the Tony Bates address on December 24th – “I would like to take a moment to thank each of you for your patience, understanding, and support during Skype’s outage. We know how important your Skype conversations are to you and we take any disruption to our service very seriously.” Right… I spent the whole day trying to find an alternative way to communicate with some of my staff that only utilizes SKYPE and then installed Google Voice when literally within a few minutes of Google Voice installation my SKYPE has started to work! Amazing timing.
Tony continues “I mentioned that a post-mortem with a root cause analysis about Skype’s outage would be provided soon. We will have that ready to share with you early next week from one of Skype’s engineering team members.” I really look forward to hearing the post-mortem conclusions hopefully in a few days from now.
The Skype Outages have happed before, for instance in August of 2007 massive outages was caused by “a massive restart of our Skype users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update” as indicated in i4u.com article. And this is how Skype has explained the cause of outages then.
“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.
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.” read more …