I hate to say it, but Skype sucks. Any current user knows that they have had issues for the past two days…not just connections dropping every 10 hours, which would be a major issue, but NO connection available for two full days!!
The reason I hate saying Skype sucks is because the idea, the implementation, the marketing, and the user adoption has been great until Wednesday, August 16, 2007. The question is “Can all of that outweigh the horrible experience over the past two days?” The answer is “No.” Why? Because a service that is so widespread and is actually used to accomplish mission-critical business functions should NEVER go down. Granted, most users do not pay a penny to Skype, they make/have plenty of money. And they’ll be the first to admit that a mistake like this is unacceptable to themselves, their users, and their stakeholders.
However, and this is a big HOWEVER, I believe Skype is better in the end for having this happen to them. This wasn’t an internal/corporate issue that made some heads roll and was pushed under the carpet. This will likely never be forgotten by the organization or its users/customers. Therefore, I believe Skype will plan for technology risk mitigation more/better than any other vendor offering similar services going forward.
This touches on an incredibly important issue I am particularly concerned/vocal about: large scale, technology risk mitigation. Skype going down is one thing, but think about the other organizations/entities/applications/etc. out there that likely have worse code (yes, Skype said it was an issue in the software) than Skype. In fact, if you can’t wrap your arms around that, just think about how talented the Skype developers were/are compared to some of the people in IT that you may know who work at large organizations (public and private) throughout the World. I know these things happen every day, and I’m very interested in hearing more about exactly what happened with Skype, but I hope the widespread nature of this can send a wake-up call to some of organizations out there who have even more far-reaching, mission-critical objectives than Skype.
If they don’t get it soon, don’t worry, I’ll get on the ball and make sure it becomes a priority for the places I care about (i.e. utilities companies, government, etc.).