Skype scrape shows company's global reach

  • 2007-08-22
  • By Joel Alas and wire reports
TALLINN - The reach of the SkypeInternet telephone service wasdemonstrated on Aug. 16 when thesystem crashed, causing disruptionsaround the world.Engineers in Skype's Tallinnbaseddevelopment center raced torestore the service by Aug. 18, butnot before international mediacaught on to the crash.Up to 9 million people aroundthe world use the service at anygiven moment, according to SkypeEstonia general manager StenTamkivi.

Internet media outlets reportedlarge disruptions to small andmedium-sized businesses that nowrely on Skype as a cheap mediumfor international communication.The event tested the public's confidencein the system, which untilnow has received stellar reportsfor its clarity and reliability.Engineers found problems inthe peer-to-peer network werecaused by the simultaneousrebooting of millions of computersaround the planet.A large number of usersrestarted their computers in ashort time frame after Windowssent out a routine update patch,which required that computers beshut down to take effect.

Although similar globalreboots occur with each Windowsupdate, Skype said problems withinits own software caused it toreact adversely on this occasion.The company said it had now"quashed the bug," and assuredusers that future Windows updateswould not trigger another systemmeltdown.