Do you have any idea how many people have been flipping out today because they could not connect to Skype? We’ve long heard the “number” – the amount of people who use the popular calling service as reported by the company. However, the actual impact of Skype truly never hit home until today. When the service went unavailable to everyone… the world began to cry.
The enormity of Skype going down is appreciated when you consider that last year it accounted for 12 percent of the world’s international calling minutes. The last major downtime experienced was just over three years ago, so having it crash in this manner today has left many people scrambling for alternatives. The problem is, though, that people may not have contact information for their Skype friends to be used on other services.
Skype isn’t a network like a conventional phone or IM network – instead, 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. 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.
I’ve heard rumblings and speculations about this whole “problem affecting some versions of Skype.” Remember, folks, it was only a week ago we were talking about Skype forcing updates to their newest version. There are speculations and rumors floating everywhere regarding this, as always happens when something we rely on suddenly won’t work.
What are your thoughts? Have you been stranded today without Skype?