A massive outage hit Skype (news, filings) [a subsidiary of MicroSoft (:MSFT, news)] overnight with users worldwide unable to connect let alone use the service for hours. Data Center Knowledge has a nice summary of the various reactions. I myself depend heavily on Skype for voice services, but even still it is not my only connection to the outside world nor is it for many of Skype's users. But still, what horrible timing for a public black eye! Not only is Skype working on an IPO, we have a new potentially formidable competitor MagicTalk (i.e. MagicJack without the USB thingy) preparing to launch on Christmas Day.
Exactly what caused it remains unclear, Skype's explanation was as follows:
Unfortunately, today, many of them were taken offline by a problem affecting some versions of Skype … Our engineers are creating new ‘mega-supernodes’ as fast as they can, which should gradually return things to normal. This may take a few hours, and we sincerely apologise for the disruption to your conversations.
Exactly what a mega-supernode is, and how one creates or loses one, remains a bit mysterious. Maybe now they'll begin efforts to build a mongo-mega-supernode. We have the technology, we can rebuild him. Oh wait, wrong decade.
FWIW, Skype is fully operational for me now.