Skype still down for one in five -

After two days, Voice over IP outfit Skype is still suffering the effects of its outage and it has been estimated that one in five punters are still not getting the full service.

Skype Chief Executive Tony Bates who only took over in October, said Skype was focused on restoring the service and "progress is going well."

But it could not have come at a worse time for the company. Traditionally this is the time that many customers hit the blower to talk to their relatives and this is the time that some would be testing the system.

Skype is hoping to be taken seriously by businesses and paying customers, unfortunately the ones who have most been harmed by the outage are these early adopters.

While many on the world wide wibble claim that the outage is a "storm in a teacup" as the service is free, some pay Skype a lot of dosh and expect any outages to be short and quickly fixed.

Skype was not only slow to see a problem, it was also unable to differentiate between punters who paid and those who do not. Everyone suffered.

With 48 hours of no service, the question has to be if punters should be looking somewhere use.

Bates said Skype still investigating the cause. It ruled nothing out at this stage.

The site that benefited the most from Skype's woes was the social notworking site Twitter, which was swamped with messages from users around the world.

"We do realise that we put our users through stress over the last 24 hours," Bates said.

Bates said the company would offer credit vouchers to paying customers, and, appearing in a video on the company's blog, apologised profusely.

The company's last major outage occurred in August 2007 after a routine software upgrade.