Skype suffers outage, delivers quick fix

The VoIP service was down for a "small number" of users this morning, the company says as it provides an initial workaround and promises an easier fix soon.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Skype had some issues this morning.
Skype had some issues this morning. Screenshotby Don Reisinger/CNET

Skype was down for some users this morning, but the VoIP provider fix seems to have quickly set things straight.

Around 5:00 a.m. PT this morning, Skype posted to its Twitter account that "some" of its users were having trouble signing in to the service and placing calls. The company didn't say what was causing the trouble. An hour later, Skype updated its Twitter account to inform users that it had discovered the issue and would roll out a solution as quickly as possible.

That fix, which the company posted to its blog shortly thereafter, requires users to delete the "shared.xml" file in their Skype folders. The issue is affecting users on the company's Windows, Mac, and Linux clients.

I experienced the issue with Skype on my Mac OS X installation. After deleting the "shared.xml" file from my Skype folder, the service came back up within minutes. It has been working normally since then.

Skype's outage comes just a couple weeks after the company made headlines by being the target of an $8.5 billion acquisition bid by Microsoft. Once the deal closes later this year, Skype will become its own division at Microsoft under the direction of its CEO, Tony Bates. Microsoft plans to integrate Skype into its Kinect motion-gaming peripheral, Windows Phone 7, and other platforms.

There was no word from Skype on how many users experienced the problem, but the company said it was likely a "small number." The company did not immediately respond to request for comment on the nature or pervasiveness of the glitch.

Skype plans to deliver an easier fix to the issue--"soon," it said. Until then, users will need to follow these technical instructions to address the problem.