Skype taken down by Windows Updates?

Skype had a major outage at the weekend. Their explanation is:

On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.

I’ve no real reason to doubt their statement, except to wonder that, given their fifty million users, don’t a significant percentage shut down their computers overnight? Windows Updates don’t arrive instantly, either – mine take up to 48hrs to filter through…just thinking out loud.

Despite possible skepticism, I think people wondering ‘if Skype was planning to refund them for all the calls they had to re-direct to other, usually more expensive, phone numbers during the period of disruption’ should get a grip. Firstly, Skype charges per call. If you can’t call, you can’t get charged. But maybe they’re talking about Skype’s incoming phone numbers, which do cost. Maybe the problem is with incoming callers having to use a more expensive number? Is there any phone company in the world who would even attempt such an open-to-abuse “refund”? I’m sure Skype are well covered by service agreements anyway. I can think of hypothetically costly examples, but doubt they actually happened. I can see how someone might be aggrieved at losing the ability to conference call, or something, but the extra pennies involved? Really?

While working at PC World I once had somebody ask whether we were going to pay for the petrol incurred in his coming back to swap a box of floppy disks. Sometimes the world screws you out of pocket change; that’s just how it is.