Skype outages highlight Microsoft’s poor online karma

SkypeMicrosoft is one of the largest and most profitable tech companies in the world, but sometimes we can’t help but feel a bit sorry for them.

Why? Because the online community won’t cut them any slack whatsoever. There is so little love shown that it’s scary. If there’s even the slightest chance that something can be blamed on Microsoft, it will.

Whatever the exact opposite of goodwill is, Microsoft has plenty of it.

Case in point: The recent Skype outages

The ink has barely dried on the Skype acquisition deal but people are already blaming Microsoft for the recent Skype outages (and there have been some significant ones the past couple of weeks).

110608 skype tweets

Some of this is just sarcasm, but it reminds us of that Blame Canada song from South Park. It’s kind of amusing, and a bit baffling.

How about some perspective?

The Skype acquisition was announced just one month ago. We’d bet the farm (with all the cows and chickens) that Skype is operating on exactly the same infrastructure now as it did before the deal was announced. Skype may switch platforms down the line, but hardly this fast.

Truth is, any problems Skype is having now most likely have absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft. These problems are caused by baggage that came with Skype and Skype’s current code base (which was not developed by Microsoft).

Sure, Microsoft has done – and continues to do – some not-so-smart things, and has a history of being positively draconian at times, but if you’re going to complain about Microsoft, how about doing so for things that are actually their fault? 😉


  1. Unless Skype actually explains in detail what happens, your assumption that it has nothing to do with Microsoft and the quoted assumptions that the outage is related to Microsoft are equally baseless…right?

    To be fair, it is definitely possible that a buyout could affect service quality very quickly:
    – employees who oppose the buyout may have left
    – the new owner could have immediately enacted new rules, for example, they could have prohibited purchases from certain vendors or strongly encouraged use of products from other divisions of the parent company.
    – even if the new parent company didn’t actually change anything yet, the uncertainty introduced by the potential for a major shift in culture, compensation and benefits, or procedures could have an adverse effect all by itself

    Again, that’s only to say that it’s possible. Without more information from Skype, it’s hard for this discussion to really go anywhere.

  2. I think people just like to bash Microsoft. I don’t think Vista was that bad, and I think it’s good that they are trying to get rid of XP, but they still get a lot of stick for it.

  3. One key fact everyone seems to be forgetting…

    Microsoft have not bought Skype, both companies have approved the deal, pending regulatory approval.

    This approval is expected by the end of the year, until then, Microsoft do not own Skype, no money has changed hands and no technology has been changed.

  4. @daysleeper is 100% correct… in fact, as the law stands, Microsoft isn’t even allowed to think about what it might so with skype until the deal is approved, let alone influence the technology.

    There is a lesson here for Microsoft, but there is also a lesson for the tweeting masses.

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