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Thousands of Skype users unable to log in, make calls due to outage

Many Skype users are having problems logging into Skype this morning. Many were disgruntled since a lot of their businesses rely on the online telephony service for their communications.

Skype issued a press statement Thursday morning, stating “Some of you may have problems signing in to the Skype service and making calls. We are investigating and hope to have more details to share soon.” Skype also offered alternative sign-on instructions for Windows and Mac users to recover access.

Naturally, Skype users have been quick to voice their frustrations with the sign-in problems on Twitter. One user, @Bilal_bawaleez, even wrote: "Although it is been less than a month since Microsoft acquired #Skype, I can't be surprised that Skype is down today! #MS #fail #jordan." Skype then tweeted in response to the outcry: "Thanks for your patience – we have identified the problem and will be rolling out a fix soon.”

This ill-timed outage comes just right after Microsoft’s recent decision to acquire the VoIP service for the fantastic amount of US$8.5 billion, bringing many users to question whether this downtime is a result of the acquisition. However even before the buyout, the VoIP provider experienced a similar outage earlier this year after its overloaded supernodes conked out.

To fix your Skype client, experts recommended deleting the corrupted shared.xml file in the Skype library. Once you restart the client, the file will automatically be created again. The following are instructions from Skype so you can get back online in a jiffy. The fixes are for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS and Linux from Skype:

Windows Vista and Windows 7
1.    Close Skype program.
        a.    Right-click with your mouse the Skype icon in the system tray
        b.    Choose Quit option.
2.    Make sure that “Show hidden files and folders” is switched on.
        a.    Click Start, type run and press Enter.
        b.    Type control folders and click OK.
        c.    Select the View tab and make sure relevant entry is enabled.
3.    Find the shared.xml file.
        a.    Click Start, type run and press Enter.
        b.    Type %appdata%\skype and click OK.
        c.    Delete the shared.xml file.
4.    Restart Skype. The shared.xml file will be recreated.

Windows XP

1.    Close Skype program.
        a.    Right-click with your mouse the Skype icon in the system tray
        b.    Choose Quit option.
2.    Make sure that “Show hidden files and folders” is switched on.
         a.    Click Start and then Run…
         b.    Type control folders and click OK.
         c.    Select the View tab and make sure relevant entry is enabled.
3.    Find the shared.xml file.
        a.    Click Start and then Run…
        b.    Type %appdata%\skype and click OK.
        c.    Delete the shared.xml file.
4.    Restart Skype. The shared.xml file will be recreated.

Mac OS X

1. Quit Skype program.
2. Go to the folder ~/Library/Application Support/Skype/
3. Delete the file shared.xml (it will be recreated once you restart Skype).
4. Start Skype.

Mac users, please carefully note that the ~ sign means your home folder. You can find your home folder by opening Finder and selecting Go > Home from the menu bar or pressing Command, Shift and H keys simultaneously.


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