Aparrently the Skype service went down this week, and stayed down for 2 days leaving users unable to use it…
Now Skype uses it’s own proprietary protocol, it’s not based on any kind of standard like SIP or H.323, so you have to use the Skype client and connect it to the Skype service.
But when the service is not available, your screwed, and if you want to communicate with people you have to use something else.
If you had used a standard protocol such as SIP, then you can easily have a backup provider which your client can switch to automatically. You may not even notice that your primary service provider went down at all.
Similarly, because they can be replaced so easily, standards compliant service providers have to compete for your custom. There are hundreds of SIP providers out there, your free to shop around for the best value provider rather than being stuck with a single supplier.
So if you use a standard protocol you get choice, the choice of where to get your service from, and the choice to use another service if one fails you (eg: an outage) and even to use multiple services at once, automatically switching to another if the primary fails.
If you use proprietary protocols like Skype, you are at the mercy of a single provider. You have to pay whatever prices they decide to charge, and simply put up with whatever outages they have.