Skype explains and apologises for major outage earlier this week

Skype has issued an apology for the major outage which struck at the start of the week, and also clarified what caused the glitches which plagued many users.

If you missed this back on Monday, problems began at around 9:20 in the morning (GMT), and lasted for the entire day, although the issue was finally resolved by midnight.

Gurdeep Pall, Corporate Vice President for Skype & Skype for Business at Microsoft, explained in a blog post that the trauma was caused by a “larger-than-usual configuration change” which some versions of the Skype software failed to process properly. That meant these users were disconnected, and as they reconnected, the resulting heavy traffic caused problems.

The results differed from user to user, with some of those affected losing messaging, calls, and/or contact list management, and some folks couldn’t sign in (or out) at all. Skype for Business wasn’t affected, Pall noted.

We were hit by the glitch ourselves, although the only thing affected in our case was our status became unavailable, and all contacts were marked as offline, regardless of whether they were online or not.

The trick for Skype was to put measures in place to rebalance the traffic load, evidently not an easy task, because as we’ve already mentioned, it took all day.

Pall concluded with the apology: “No matter how quickly we were able to resolve this issue, it would not have been quick enough. We know many of you needed to use Skype during the outage, and finding that you couldn’t would have been incredibly frustrating.

“We are extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused to our users, and appreciate your patience while we addressed the issue. Our apologies.”