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. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  2. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  3. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  4. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  6. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  7. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  8. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  9. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  10. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  11. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  12. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  13. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  14. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  15. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  16. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  17. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  18. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  19. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  20. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  21. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  22. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  23. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task



  24. Benoît Battistelli and Persistratos

    Reminds you of someone?



  25. Whistleblower Protection Desperately Needed at the European Patent Office

    EPO scandals are not publicly accessible or known to many people and not many such scandals are known at all because people are afraid of Battistelli's Fabius Maximus strategies



  26. Microsoft and Its Patent Minions at Nokia Still Have Patent Stacking Ambitions Against Android/Linux OEMs

    Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders



  27. [ES] ¿Que si la EPO Bajo Battistelli Se Arruina Sin Posibilidad de Reparación Como la UPC?

    La última evidencia alrededor del hundimiénto de la reputación de la Epo y su calidad de trabajo, así como la caída del sistema que Battistelli trata forzadamente de imponer (una carrera al fondo)



  28. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli, Quién Quiebra la Ley, Subvierte el Curso de la Justicia y Rechaza Obedecer las Ordenes de la Corte Dice lo Impensable en Medio de los Actos de Terror

    Los terribles ataques hace un dia en Francia están siéndo explotados por el caradura de Benoît Battistelli para comedia negra o un verdaderamente absurda afirmación en la sección de “noticias” de la EPO



  29. [ES] La EPO de Battistelli Continúa Cortejando a Officiales de Países Pequeños y su Propaganda de Beneficiar a las “PYMEs de Aquellos Países”

    El caradura de Benoît Battistelli prosigue desfilando en los países pequeños que tienen delegados al Consejo Administrativo (CA) y los explota para propaganda barata, no sólo para que lo apoyen en las reuniónes del CA



  30. Links 17/7/2016: Lithuanian Police Switches to GNU/Linux, Blockchain on LinuxONE

    Links for the day


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