In answer to the many questions raised after their announcement yesterday, Skype today issued a clarification FAQ: "The Microsoft connection clarified". For starters, they clearly stated that there was no connection to Microsoft:
1. Are we blaming Microsoft for what happened?
We don’t blame anyone but ourselves. The Microsoft Update patches were merely a catalyst — a trigger — for a series of events that led to the disruption of Skype, not the root cause of it. And Microsoft has been very helpful and supportive throughout.
The high number of post-update reboots affected Skype’s network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources at the time, prompted a chain reaction that had a critical impact.
(more in the FAQ)
In response to the question that many of us raised (for instance, in my post yesterday) about "why this month's update?", Skype wrote:
2. What was different about this set of Microsoft update patches?
In short – there was nothing different about this set of Microsoft patches. During a joint call soon after problems were detected, Skype and Microsoft engineers went through the list of patches that had been pushed out. We ruled each one out as a possible cause for Skype’s problems. We also walked through the standard Windows Update process to understand it better and to ensure that nothing in the process had changed from the past (and nothing had). The Microsoft team was fantastic to work with, and after going through the potential causes, it appeared clearer than ever to us that our software’s P2P network management algorithm was not tuned to take into account a combination of high load and supernode rebooting.
The FAQ continues with answers to more questions. All in all, a decent set of responses.
Jim Courtney over at Skype Journal also offers his perspective on this statement. I join Jim in thanking Skype PR for recognizing that their initial responses were insufficient. I think a common thread in many responses to the initial communication was that we were looking for more transparency. Stuart Henshall, a very early Skype user and one of the founders of the Skype Journal, posted a good piece about communication and Skype: "Outing Skype Communications". Well worth a read.
With that, we can probably wrap up the outage coverage... it looks like Skype users are already back to using it.
P.S. Phil Wolff just put up a post "Skype and Crisis Communications 2.0" that looks like a good read...