Skype is hoping its latest innovation will help customers forget about the worst outage in company history. The VoIP provider just rolled out a new version of its iPhone app -- and it brings video calling to millions of mobile users around the world on both 3G and Wi-Fi networks.
With the new Skype for iPhone app, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can actually see families, friends and colleagues while talking to them. Skype expects video calling to make its app -- which is already one of the top five free iPhone apps of 2010 -- even more popular.
"With video calling representing approximately 40 percent of all Skype-to-Skype minutes for the first six months of 2010, our users have been eager to get Skype video calling on their mobile phones," said Neil Stevens, general manager of Skype's consumer business.
Skype said its app sets the stage for a video call to evolve communication from a mere transactional experience to a shared experience. Skype offered practical examples, including a military father watching the birth of his child while deployed abroad, loved ones communicating via sign language, or work colleagues collaborating around the globe.
"This is definitely something that Skype customers have been looking for. It does do FaceTime one better by working over the 3G network. Of course, it works with other Skype users that may not have an iPhone," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner.
"This is a natural evolution, and it does put pressure on some of the other video-chat providers that have been trying to gain traction in the marketplace," he added. "People are familiar with Skype. They probably have their Skype networks already in place. As we get into 2011, video conferencing and front-facing cameras are going to be standard on phones of a certain caliber."
Skype Blames Windows
In a final update on last week's 24-hour Skype outage, Skype CIO Lars Rabbe offered an explanation of what transpired, the root cause, and plans to mitigate the problem in the future. Essentially, Skype is blaming Microsoft.
On Dec. 22, a cluster of support servers responsible for offline instant messaging became overloaded. Some Skype clients received delayed responses. In a version of Skype for Windows client, the delayed responses from overloaded servers were not properly processed, causing Windows clients running the affected version to crash. That issue caused about 40 percent of those clients to fail, along with about 25 percent to 30 percent of publicly available supernodes.
"The failure of 25 to 30 percent of supernodes in the P2P network resulted in an increased load on the remaining supernodes. While we expect this kind of increase in the instance of a failure, a significant proportion of users were also restarting crashed Windows clients at this time," Rabbe said. "This massively increased the load as they reconnected to the peer-to-peer cloud. The initial crashes happened just before our usual daily peak hour ... and very shortly after the initial crash, which resulted in traffic to the supernodes that was about 100 times what would normally be expected at that time of day."
Posted: 2010-12-31 @ 2:44am PT
This is a good news for sure but the downside is that now skype has remove API access to 3rd Party apps