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$8.5bn Skype goes titsup again - including website

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Skype went titsup on Thursday, days after the announcement of a deal to buy the VoIP outfit by Microsoft.

The service fell over around lunchtime on Thursday, crashing the application on many Windows PCs. Early indications suggest that Mac fans were less exposed to the problem but this is unconfirmed. Skype's website was also affected.

Skype acknowledged that many users had subsequent problems signing into Skype and making calls in an advisory, which explains that deleting the "shared.xml" file ought to allow users to reconnect to the service.

Some security researchers half jokingly suggested the outage was caused by plans to move the platform to Microsoft's .Net framework. This seems a bit improbable because, while it might explain the client connection problem, its hard to see how it fits with problems with the website [perhaps caused by a vast userbase looking for information? - ed]. Frankly though it's the best theory we have, as least for now.

The cause of the problem remains anybody's guess, at least pending official word on the snafu from Skype itself.

"We're investigating and hope to have more details to share soon," it said.

The outage is far from the first to affect Skype. Previous (more lengthy) outages have produced compensation offers. Whether or not that happens in this case, the incident will cause users to further question the reliability of the service. ®

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