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Skype makes wobbly return, offers compo to paying punters

It wasn't malicious, just a total FAIL

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Skype is slowly coming back to life after suffering a major outage over the past few days and, in an effort to say sorry, the firm is offering to compensate its paying customers.

Users of the VoIP service were unable to log into Skype on Wednesday, and the trouble has continued for many over the past 48 hours.

The company's boss Tony Bates, who only joined Skype in October, apologised for the site going titsup and said the service was now "at roughly 90 per cent of normal user volumes".

Many computers that act as supernodes - the systems that provide directory information on Skype - were taken offline "by a problem affecting some versions" of the service on Wednesday, which led to call volumes dropping by half.

Skype normally services about 20 million calls a day. But its outage hit users of mobile and desktop versions of Skype in the US, Europe and Asia.

"Audio, video and IM are running normally. But, a couple of our offerings, including offline IM and Group Video Calling, are not available yet, and we are working hard to restore them in due course," said Bates in a blog post yesterday.

"We now understand the cause of the problem and we believe it was not caused by a malicious attack. But, we are still doing a full analysis and we will provide an in-depth post-mortem."

Bates said that Pay As You Go and Pre-Pay punters would get a Skype voucher via email that can be used to make a free call to landlines around the world.

"For our active subscribers, we will credit you with a week's extra subscription service. It may take a few days, but once implemented, it will be applied from your next renewal date," he added. ®

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