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Windows Patch Caused Crash, Skype Says
Written by Daniel   
Monday, 20 August 2007 09:57

Windows Patch Caused Crash, Skype Says
Millions of simultaneous user reboots after a routine Windows update overtaxed the VoIP system, Skype says.
John Blau, IDG News Service, PC World
Monday, August 20, 2007 7:00 AM PDT

 The widespread failure of Skype's Internet telephony service last week happened when millions of Windows users tried to log in to the system at the same time, after downloading a software update from Microsoft and rebooting their machines, Skype said Monday.

Users encountered problems logging on to Skype's VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service early Thursday morning, leaving them unable to connect until Saturday.


Patches Reveal Bug

Skype said that the load placed on its system as computers rebooted after receiving a routine set of patches from Microsoft's Windows Update service revealed a previously unknown bug in the Skype software.

Although the Skype network has a built-in self-healing function, the bug within the network resource allocation algorithm prevented the function from working as designed, according to the company.

Skype has identified the bug, which was a design error and not caused by hackers, it said. The company has already introduced "a number of improvements" to its software to help resolve the problem.

However, Skype provided no details on why Microsoft's monthly Windows upgrades have not caused problems in the past, nor whether future upgrades could trigger a similar network outage.... More

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