Skype Outage: Services Slowly Resuming, but What Was the Full Impact?

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SkypeMillions of Skype users have been hit with a major outage just days before Christmas. And while the Internet phone and video service is slowly returning, it might still take a few hours more for the service to return fully, Skype said.

As Skype explains it, the failure of several supernodes caused the widespread outage on Wednesday. "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," the company said. In its blog it added, "Our engineers are working to resolve the problem."

According to Skype, 5 million users are already online, which is 30% of normal. This means that 11.7 million are still unable to log in. And that's after some of the service has been restored.

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Estimates on how many users have been affected range as high as 20 million, according to independent blog Skype Journal. At peak times, Skype says, there are up to 23 million people online. According to Bloomberg, Skype couldn't confirm how many users had been affected by the disruption. Either way, this a much larger outage than the last one the company experienced in 2007.

Founded in 2003, Skype sold out to eBay (EBAY) for $2.6 billion two years later. But the two separated last year with eBay taking a large charge, and keeping a 30% stake. In early August, the company filed for an initial public offering, hoping to raise at least $100 million, with some putting the number closer to $1 billion.

The latest outage is certainly a distraction for new CEO Tony Bates as the company prepares for an IPO and works to develop a premium services to increase its revenue stream.

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