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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge Linux

    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