Yes, you read the headline right. I have long been a critic of Skype, suggesting that eBay was foolish to buy the VoIP toy and generally ridiculing it as a serious business tool.
Today I'm eating crow, and it tastes great. Why? Because Vonage has been complete rubbish for me, whereas Skype is increasingly approaching perfection. I dropped my traditional phone service for Vonage. I'm now about to drop my traditionally awful Vonage for Skype.… Read more
Like worms that have attacked MSN Messenger, AOL IM and Yahoo Messenger in the recent past, a worm is currently attacking Skype IM users. From an infected machine, the virus known as either Ramex.a (Skype) or Pykspa.a (McAfee) or Skipi.a shoots messages with a live link to people on the infected machine's Skype contact list. A JPEG image within the message provides a download link to a file with the SCR extension. Recipients who click on the link are then infected.
Once installed, the worm injects bogus entries into the computer's HOSTS file so that … Read more
For a conference about getting work done, there are sure a whole lot of toys here at Office 2.0 in San Francisco. Sure many of them are old hat, like the the Nabaztag/tag, but there's some new stuff here too like Pano Logic's zero client desktop. This shiny metal cube is actually a computer--well kind of. Actually it involves setting up a a beefy server to give everyone in your office a full version of Windows sans hardware. Just give give them a keyboard, mouse, monitor and one of these shiny cubes and they're ready … Read more
Despite SunRocket's recent implosion, venture capitalists are hot to invest in voice over IP start-ups.
A company called Jaxtr announced Tuesday that it's raised $10 million. The company, which hopes to emulate the success of eBay's Skype, actually attracted some of the same investors as Skype. Draper Richards, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Mangrove Capital, all early stage investors in Skype, contributed to Jaxtr's first round of funding.
Jaxtr is one of a growing number of IP telephony start-ups hoping to make it big. These companies are leaning more toward Skype's business model as a complementary … Read more
Several readers blasted me for my blog post last week about the Skype outage. I assumed that many of the people using Skype's messaging and voice over IP service didn't rely on the service for their primary form of communication. But several people pointed out that many small businesses use Skype to communicate with clients, employees and partners.
These comments got me thinking about this segment of the market. And now I'm working on a story that will take a look at how small businesses use free communications services like Skype instead of products that they would … Read more
When I first read the headline, I was shocked. I thought, "Wow! Skype runs on Windows servers???"
But no. Skype blamed its outage over the weekend on a different kind of Windows problem. It turns out that when you have millions of Windows machines restarting at the same time (getting their weekly doses of patches because, um, the system is rock-solid), it can cause all sorts of problems for others.
Last week, the Skype VoIP service went down for two days, affecting customers worldwide. On Monday, Villu Arak, writing on the Skype blog Heartbeat, attributed the outage to "a previously unseen software bug within the network resource allocation algorithm which prevented the self-healing function from working quickly."
But the root cause? "The disruption," he said, "was triggered by a massive restart of our users' computers across the globe within a very short time frame as they rebooted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update." Tuesday Microsoft pushed out nine patches, six … Read more
Skype's service appears to be up and running again for the most part, after software issues Thursday prevented millions of Skype users from signing on to the IP telephony application.
Skype officials say the outage was not due to a cyberattack or network upgrades. Instead they attributed the issue to "a deficiency in an algorithm within Skype networking software. This controls the interaction between the user's own Skype client and the rest of the Skype network."
As of 11 a.m. GMT Friday, the company said that the software had started to stabilize. Some users have … Read more
Could open source have saved Skype from its ongoing disaster? Andy Oram @ O'Reilly believes so, and I think he's onto something. Open source is not a panacea. But it does offer an alternative way to fix snafus like this that are wreaking havoc on Skpe's reputation, as Larry Dignan notes.
Andy writes:… Read more