EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.30.10

Proprietary Software + Windows = VoIP System Down for Everyone

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Polycom IP telephone

Summary: Skype collapses due to a bug in the Windows version of this program, giving more reasons to give Ekiga a try at least as a contingency

“Skype outage blamed on bug in Windows version,” says The Guardian. For those who do not know, Skype suffered major issues last week and this is not the first time that Windows (e.g. Windows Update) causes Skype to collapse for everyone, no matter the platform they are on:

A bug in the Windows version of the Skype internet telephony software used by half of all users caused the entire service to crash for roughly 24 hours on 22 and 23 December, its chief information officer says.

In a blogpost, Lars Rabbe says that the problem began on the Wednesday at about 1600 GMT when some servers used for offline instant messaging overloaded, and began delaying their response to Skype users.

That delay had a domino effect on a particular Windows version of Skype used by half of its global userbase, causing them to crash. That in turn meant that the entire network, which relies on “peer-to-peer” connections between users’ PCs to route its internet voice and data traffic, began to fall apart.

Windows users too are encouraged to use Ekiga, which is Free software so bugs are harder to overlook. VoIP should not rely solely on this monoculture that’s proprietary.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    December 30, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Gravatar

    If you want proof of the demise of Windows market share, Skype is it. Despite Microsoft’s binary retail dominance, half of Skype users are not using Windows. Web cams and other equipment come with nothing but Windows binaries in the box, so setting them up with gnu/linux is always a game of bringing your laptop to the store to make sure the thing works with free software. Big box retailers, of course, don’t stock computers with free software in the first place thanks to Microsoft strong arming [2], [3], [4], [5]. That half of Skype users are not Windows users pretty much proves that people who know how to use computers avoid Windows. Microsoft’s sabotage of Skype, Google and other services will only drive their remaining customers away.

    Will Reply:

    I don’t think the hardware compatibility is nearly as bad as it was 5 or 6 years ago. I barely ever think about it anymore. Twice now I’ve bought a Logitech webcam without even bothering to check its Linux compatibility, and the thing worked beautifully with Linux. Just plug it in and it’s automatically installed instantly—much less work than installing the Windows binary driver, and no disc or download needed to get the OS to recognize it.

    Printers aren’t much of a problem either. HP provides official Linux drivers as well as a Linux native Control Panel/Software Toolbox. Avoid Epson like the black plague though. They hate Linux with a passion.

    Robotron 2084 Reply:

    You are wrong. If you or Roy had bothered to look at the Skype blog post linked in the Guardian article, you would have learned the following:

    The Skype crashes were caused only by Windows version 5.0.0.152, which was being used by 50% of all Skype users globally. The remaining 50% are all Apple or Linux users? No, of course not. No reasonable, rational person would jump to such an odd conclusion that isn’t supported by the data provided. The remaining 50% were using a different version, either newer or older than 5.0.0.152. A very small portion might be running either the Linux or Mac versions, but that number is unlikely to be in the double digits. If you can find any concrete proof (not some newsgroup posting or blog with unverified claims) that greater than 10% of all Skype users are using Linux or Apple, I’ll eat my mouse pad.

    Version 5.0.0.152 was crashing due to problems within the program itself. Any program written for any operating system will crash if there are problems with the program’s own code. But, I know people like you and Roy. As extremists, you will lie and twist the facts to suit yourself, claim that Windows itself MUST have caused the problem.

    twitter Reply:

    You need to read more carefully and think harder, Robotron. When the Guardian says that,

    most people had not updated to the newest version,

    and that half of their users had problems (and are Windows users), we can see that more than 10% of Skype users are not Windows users. In fact, a reasonable person might assume that 40-50% of Skype users are not Windows users.

    This line of reasoning is consistent with the large number of Verizon and other Telco customers who can’t use Windows because Windows does not work on mobiles. These will be Android, Symbian and OSX users. The number of Windows Skype users will do nothing but decline as people bolt from desktops in general and Windows in particular.

    It is also right of Roy to blame Windows for the problems, though the issue is general to all non free software. The main reason Windows users have obsolete software is that there is no central software repository to make things easy for users. In fact, non cooperation in the Windows world is so bad that most users are afraid to change anything, even minor pieces of hardware and system settings, because they know it can bring their entire system down. This is not the case in the free software world, where it is easy and quick to have the latest and greatest software available. Beyond that, there’s the unmistakable fact that all of the software was working and then failed at the same time. The only thing that hundreds of millions of Windows Skype users in the world have in common is Windows. Chances are some kind of Windows “update” caused the problem and it is a shame that the people at Skype fell on their sword to protect Microsoft. When a similar thing happened in 2008, Skype gave credit where it belonged.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This reminds me to rush with the AP post, which I’ll make in a moment.

    Robotron 2084 Reply:

    Twitter, I know you’ve heard this before, but YOU are NOT a reasonable person. Getting kicked out of an Apple store should have taught you that. You are a nasty, vile bigot who hates not people, but proprietary software and the companies which profit from the creation of such software. You really are a really twisted and sad individual. But I don’t believe anyone is beyond help. The apple incident aside, I’m fascinated at how you function in your personal life.

    50% of all Skype users were using Windows version 5.0.0.152. Of those users, 40% were experiencing program crashes. 25-30% of those crashed Skype clients had been acting as supernodes.

    You can NOT dispute any of the facts I’ve just given you. They are available on Skype’s own blog. The data supplied by Skype does not tell us the percentage of Skype users that are using Windows.

    You say, “we can see that more than 10% of Skype users are not Windows users.”

    No, we can’t see that. We can only see that more than 10% were using a version OTHER than 5.0.0.152. That’s it. Period. End of story.

What Else is New


  1. Links 4/5/2016: Wine Staging 1.9.9, ImageMagick Bug Fixes

    Links for the day



  2. Links 3/5/2016: Mozilla Firefox 46.0.1, More Jolla Funding

    Links for the day



  3. New Paper About the UPC Explains Why It is Bad for Small- and Medium-sized European Businesses

    A detailed academic analysis of the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court reveals/concludes/asserts that it is being marketed or promoted using a misleading premise and promise



  4. [ES] Gobiernos en Europa Todavía Activos en Contra de la Gerencia de la EPO

    Todavía hay trabajo político que está siendo hecho — aunque discretamente — contra Battistelli y sus chácales en la alta gerencia de la Oficina Europea de Patentes



  5. Links 3/5/2016: International Day Against DRM, 25th Anniversary of Linux (Kernel) Near

    Links for the day



  6. Interesting Supreme Court Cases About Patents in the United States

    A quick review of some of the latest developments regarding SCOTUS (the US Supreme Court) as far as patents go



  7. Governments in Europe Still Active Against EPO Management

    There is still political work being done -- albeit rather discreetly -- against Battistelli and his goons at the European Patent Office's top-level management



  8. The European Spam Office (EPO)

    EPO budget at 'work', days after doing copy-paste jobs and also working overtime in the weekend for an extravagant and needless/purposeless event (except for Battistelli's own pride)



  9. Not Just Benoît Battistelli and Willy Minnoye (EPO): Željko Topić Too Thinks He is Above the Law, Avoids the Judges and Courts

    The latest developments regarding some of the criminal complaints and civil lawsuits against Topić, who is now a Vice-President at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  10. Nefarious Forces for Patent Abuse and Software Patents in the United States, Australia, India, Korea, and Europe

    A roundup of news from the weekend and today, with emphasis on the elements inside the system (or the media) which push for regressive policies that benefit them financially at the expense of everybody else



  11. [ES] El Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU: Donde Uno Desperdicia Años en Corte y Gasta $8,000,000 en Honorarios de Abogados Peleándo una Patente Falsa

    un sumario de noticias acerca de las patentes de software en los EE.UU. Y ha lo que han llevado, debido en gran manera al decline en calidad de las patentes por parte de la USPTO (dejando que otros se las arreglen limpiando el desórden)



  12. [ES] La Oficina Europea de Patentes Todavía Sigilósamente Abusiva, Pagará $15,000 en Compensasió a Trabajadora Tras un Tardío Fallo de la ILO

    La Organización Internacional del Trabajo (ILO) emite un fallo en un caso de abuso de la EPO y nota “la excesiva duración de los procedimienteos internos de apelación.”



  13. Links 2/5/2016: Linux 4.6 RC6, DragonBox Pyra

    Links for the day



  14. Links 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  15. The US Patent System: Where One Wastes Years in Court and Spends $8,000,000 in Lawyers' Fees Fighting a Bogus Patent

    A roundup of news about software patents in the US and what they have led to, owing in part to the USPTO's declining patent quality (leaving others to clean up its mess)



  16. The European Patent Office Still Silently Abusive, Will Pay $15,000 in Compensation to Female Worker After Belated ILO Judgment

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) issues a judgment on a case of abuse by the EPO and notes "excessive length of the internal appeal proceedings."



  17. [ES] Alice Continúa Quebrando Patentes de Software Asi Que los Abogados de Patentes, Cabilderos de los Monopolistas, Etc. Ahora Atacan a la Corte Suprema por Hacer Esto

    los cabilderos Corpórativos y abogados de patentes están tratándo de poner a Alicia en la tumba, por su impacto en las patentes de software que es muy profundo y así hasta ahora casi indetenible



  18. [ES] ¿Cómo Salvar la Reputación de la EPO?: Crear Más Jurados de Apelaciónes en Europa y Abolir la Malgíada/Malintencionada Fantasía de la UPC

    Una crítica evaluación de lo que ocurre en la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO), la que rápidamente se está yendo para abajo (y degradando sobre todo) a el nivel de los sistemas Chinos, en conjuntamente con corrupción, los abusos, y la bajísima calidad de las patentes



  19. [ES] La Corte de Apelaciónes del Circuito Federal (CAFC) Acaba de Ponerse a Favor de los Trolles de Patentes

    la tristémente célebre CAFC, que manifestó las patentes de software en los EE.UU, acaba de dar un regalo a los trolles de patentes quienes típicamente usan las patentes de software para extorsión enc complicidad con los jueces del Este de Texas



  20. [ES] Análisis de los Últimos Datos de Lex Machina Acerca de la Litigación de Patentes Muestra Como está Declinándo

    el Professor Mark Lemley de Lex Machina resalta las tendencias en litigation al colectar y analizar datos relacionados con patente y concerniéntes a monopolios intelectuales en general; actualmente muestra una sequía de litigaciones (muestran que ha disminuído)



  21. [ES] La India Está Teniendo Otra Prueba de los Peligros de las Patentes Occidentales, Debe Aprender a Rechazar Completamente las Patentes de Software en Medio de Gran Presión

    El gigante de software que es la India continua enfrentándos ea la cruel y agresivo cabildeo de Occidente, haciéndo que este controle a la India por patentes que no deberían de existir en primer lugar



  22. [ES] Microsoft Dice que Continuará Extorsiónando a Compañías Que Distribuyan Linux, Usando Patentes de Software Usuallmente

    La guerra de Microsoft contra Linux, una guerra que es peleada usando patentes de software patents (por ganancias y/o por chantáje con arreglos empaquetados), todavía continúa a pesar de todas las tácticas de relaciónes públicas de Microsoft y sus sócios



  23. Alice Continues to Smash Software Patents So Patent Lawyers, Monopolists' Lobbyists Etc. Now Attack the Supreme Court for Doing This

    Corporate lobbyists and patent lawyers are trying to put Alice in the grave, for its impact on software patents is very profound and thus far almost unstoppable



  24. How to Salvage the EPO's Reputation: Create More Boards of Appeal in Europe and Abolish the Misguided UPC Fantasy

    A critical evaluation of what goes on at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is quickly descending down (and overall degrading) to the level of Chinese systems, along with the corruption, the abuses, and the low quality of patents



  25. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Has Just Sided With Patent Trolls

    The notorious CAFC, which manifested software patents in the United States, has just given a gift to patent trolls that typically use software patents for extortion down in Texas



  26. Analyses of the Latest Data From Lex Machina About Patent Litigation Show Some Litigation Declines

    Professor Mark Lemley's Lex Machina highlights litigation trends by collecting and analysing data related to patents and pertaining to intellectual monopolies in general; now it shows litigation droughts



  27. India is Having Another Taste of the Dangers of Western Patents, Must Learn to Reject Software Patents in the Face of Great Pressure

    The growing software giant which is India continues to face cruel and aggressive lobbying from the West, enabling the West to control India by patents that should not exist in the first place



  28. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  30. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts