Skype is down, at least for a majority of its users. The free communications service is having a severe problem.
As I write this, I see a pair of clockwise arrows circling around like sharks in the Skype status icon on my taskbar.
The instant messaging I rely on day to day is not working and the Skype phone service is broken.
In fact, I was dumped off-line this morning and cannot even log in.
Skype says they are working on the problem.
Click here for update and historic time line of the Skype outage.
Mary Rice of Moneyblog reports: Usually Skype clocks in around 20 to 21 million users a day. Currently, Skype has about 12 million users, and social networks are abuzz with reports of Skype being down.
Allen Stern of Center Networks comments us: First thing I plan to do is DEMAND A REFUND…oh wait :-P My “Skype Down Preparedness Kit” has only one item in it — that’s a phone. If you really need to get a hold of someone while Skype is down, pick up the phone and call them.
Zee of TNW (The Next Web) tells us: The service last went down was 2007 where the problem was reportedly “a deficiency in an algorithm” – it wasn’t a good day for eBay, the company behind the product at the time.
Gigaom says: Skype is one of the key applications of the modern web. According to a recent study, Skype accounts for about 0.57 percent of all Internet traffic.
Skype is working on the problem by creating mega-supernodes as fast as they can.
Skype’s twitter notice tells us why Skype went down:
…..it relies on millions of individual connections between computers and phones to keep things up and running. Some of these computers are what we call ‘supernodes’ – they act a bit like phone directories for Skype. If you want to talk to someone, and your Skype app can’t find them immediately (for example, because they’re connecting from a different location or from a different device) your computer or phone will first try to find a supernode to figure out how to reach them.
Under normal circumstances, there are a large number of supernodes available. Unfortunately, today, many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype. As Skype relies on being able to maintain contact with supernodes, it may appear offline for some of you.
Skype customers who purchased Enterprise versions of the program are working, but even they have long delays in logging onto the network.
Click here for up to the minute status from Skype.
For a free product, we shouldn’t complain about the occasional burp.
The last time Skype went down was in 2007.