Server overload causes Skype crash

Overloaded servers and a bug in Windows caused the two-day failure of internet phone firm Skype, according to its CEO Lars Rabbe.

Writing on his Skype blog, Rabbe explained: "On Wednesday, December 22, a cluster of support servers responsible for offline instant messaging became overloaded.

"As a result of this overload, some Skype clients received delayed responses from the overloaded servers. In a version of the Skype for Windows client (version 5.0.0152), the delayed responses from the overloaded servers were not properly processed, causing Windows clients running the affected version to crash."

The two events combined to create a cascade of problems that managed to knock out much of the network underpinning the phone service.

Skype is assessing how its network is built to stop the problem recurring.

About 50 per cent of all Skype users ran the buggy version of the software, said Mr Rabbe.

Rabbe also reveals which user groups managed to avoid the technical troubles by adding: "Users running either the latest Skype for Windows (version, older versions of Skype for Windows (4.0 versions), Skype for Mac, Skype for iPhone, Skype on your TV, and Skype Connect or Skype Manager for enterprises were not affected by this initial problem."

Skype is also offering compensation to subscribers of the service as a way of making amends for the disruption caused by last week's technical problems.

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