Skype hiccup causes thousands of conversations to hang up

Skype has received a lot of hype for enabling people to have a conversation with someone across the globe with nothing but a web cam. Skype users were issued into darkness this Monday morning, however, after a technical glitch prevented users from making or receiving calls.(1)

“We are working to fix an issue which is preventing some users from logging in & using Skype,” the company tweeted at 7:18 a.m. ET. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”(2)

The service stated in a separate post that some messages sent to group chats were not being delivered, and users who were not already signed into Skype may experience difficulties logging into the system. “[I]n most cases, you can still instant message your contacts,” CNET reported.(1)

Frozen conversations

Among other difficulties, users cannot change their statuses. If they happen to be offline, then they cannot change their status to online, which is necessary in order to make phone calls. The company says that the messaging side of Skype seems to still be working properly.(1)

Skype isn’t just used as a more direct means of communication between friends and family. Companies are dependent upon Skype in order to conduct business meetings, too. Major news networks regularly use the system in order to conduct face-to-face interviews. The recent glitch has caused these conversations to come to a grinding halt.

Since Skype is essentially a worldwide telephone, the glitch isn’t bound to a particular geographical location, so the glitch is likely to affect a large number of people throughout the world.

Skype no longer the only telecommunication software in town

Owned by Microsoft, Skype no longer has a monopoly on video and audio calls. The software faces competition from rival messaging apps including Viber and WhatsApp. Unlike Facebook, which has been largely abandoned and left for dead by younger audiences in favor of other social networking sites like Twitter, Instagram and Reddit, Skype is still in its heyday.(1)

Although the issue has yet to be resolved, some Skype users may be out of the woods. The problem is only impacting the mobile and desktop versions of Skype. The web-based version of Skype is still working. Windows supports the web-based version of Skype with Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, as does the Mac with Safari 6 or higher.(1)

It should be noted that the web-based version of Skype requires users to install a plug-in. Once the app is installed, users can switch their status from offline to online using the web interface. Nevertheless, an individual’s personal contacts must be online as well, which can restrict the number of people one wishes to talk too.(1)

Users may run into troubles loading pages on the Skype website, which provides updates and customer support. The Skype Heartbeat site is the best bet for obtaining up-to-date information on the problem. “We’re doing everything we can to fix this issue and hope to have another update for you soon,” noted the company.(3)

Meanwhile, Skype’s pulse can barely be heard by mobile and desktop monitors.

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