Sat, Apr 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Skype switchover issues temporary, operator insists

Staff writer, with CNA

There were no complaints yesterday of problems switching from MSN Messenger to Skype, after users reported experiencing difficulties a day earlier, the system’s local operator said.

Many users of Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger, also known as MSN Messenger, had problems logging in to Skype on Thursday after Microsoft Taiwan officially shut down its MSN instant messaging system.

MSN Messenger users were urged to switch to Skype by April 8, the original date Microsoft Taiwan had planned to shut down its messaging system, but users were still able to use the system until Wednesday.

When large numbers of users were forced to switch to Skype on Thursday, the system crashed, the local Skype operator said yesterday.

“We didn’t expect the failure,” said Sandia Chiu, public relations agent at PChome Online Inc, which operates the Skype service in Taiwan.

“We believe it happened because of the sudden spike in the number of users logging on to Skype with their MSN accounts,” she said.

The problem was resolved at about 6pm on Thursday, and users have reported no difficulty logging in since then, Chiu said.

PChome declined to provide information on how many users were affected by the failure, how many MSN Messenger users have switched to Skype, or the rate of increase in Skype downloads.

The new Skype service, which allows users to import contacts from MSN messenger, features calls to mobile phones from PCs and multiple connections with friends on leading social networks such as Facebook.

Skype is available across a wide variety of PC and mobile operating systems.

Messenger online chat, which was launched in July 1999, reached its peak in 2011, with up to 300 million active users, according to Ars Technica, a US-based technology blog.

However, MSN Messenger’s popularity has since waned to about 100 million users worldwide, the blog said.

In 2011, Microsoft bought Skype, which has 280 million users per month, for US$8.5 billion, and has been promoting the transition since November last year.

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