Microsoft Apologies For Skype Outage and Offers Compensation

The Skype service is an essential component for many internet-based companies to communicate with industry contacts and share ideas via conferencing. Additionally, the software is a tool to help family members stay in contact across vast distances. As a result, any downtime on Skype can majorly impact on your business and personal life. Sadly, on September 21st, the service encountered a whole host of connection problems and prolonged downtime. This made many users quite angry and disappointed with the speed of troubleshooting.

Microsoft has started to send e-mails out to Skype customers apologizing for the downtime and offered compensation:

“We’re sorry for the technical issue we suffered that day. We know how important our service is to you and how frustrating outages like this can be. We also know that sometimes saying sorry just isn’t enough. To make it up to you, over the next few days we will add 20 minutes of free calls to over 60 landline and 8 mobile destinations around the world. Make sure you look out for your free calls as they will be available to use for 7 days.”

It’s still unclear if the 20 minutes of free call time will be offered to every Skype user or only a select few. Although, at least Microsoft has apologized and offered a token gesture to help those affected. To be perfectly honest, I doubt many people will be overly bothered by now, and just accept that downtime can happen as part of any internet service.

Thank you UberGizmo for providing us with this information. 

CaseLabs Apologizes to Thermaltake Over “Stealing” Accusations

As many of you might know, quite a bit controversy was made last month when CaseLabs accused Thermaltake of stealing case designs. In a surprising twist to the story, CaseLabs has now issued an apology to Thermaltake and retracted their previous comments and accusations. The main accusations revolved around how similar certain Thermaltake cases are, which on the face of it, look quite similar to CaseLabs designs.

In their apology, CaseLabs pretty much accepted the most basic reason that Thermaltake had defended themselves with, that cases are simply a box and there are only so many ways to design things in a logical manner. It also seems that CaseLabs did not get any design patents for their cases. That would be the logical way to protect a case design, along the lines of what Apple have used against Samsung in their multi-million dollar lawsuits.

CaseLabs apologizes for accusing Mr. Robb and Thermaltake of “stealing” anything. The look of a computer case will always have some similar features – given its functional nature. CaseLabs retracts its accusations against Thermaltake for “copying other people’s existing concepts and calling them your own” and of producing “rip-off products. CaseLabs acknowledges that it does not own any patents on any of its case products. CaseLabs’ postings, which suggested that litigating to enforce patents would be prohibitively expensive, were misleading, because they implied that CaseLabs actually owned patents, which it does not. CaseLabs regrets this error.

CaseLabs’ apology also goes pretty far in that it apologizes about the fact that it accused Thermaltake and others of being made cheaply overseas made products compared to US products. In fact, CaseLabs rejected  “any suggestion that competitors are not entirely free to engage in price competition for such unpatentable products as CaseLabs’ computer cases”. The apology also notes that the firm was wrong in jumping to false accusations and wishes for a return to ethical and vigorous competition. CaseLabs has since taken down their accusation post and is requesting LegitReviews, which posted that statement verbatim, take it down too.

Given how polarizing the issue has been for the community, it’s unlikely what people think of the issue might change much. Design patents are a tricky thing as we’ve seen with the Apple and Samsung saga and how bad that was. From the overall situation, it seems the two firms had some discussions in the background about everything and this appears to be the result. I largely agree with Thermaltake that there simply is only so many ways to design a case if you want to achieve a certain feel, look or practicality. Hopefully everyone can just focus on designing good cases and may the best case win. The apology and retraction letters can be found below and Thermaltake’s statement can be found here.


Lenovo: “We’re Sorry. We Messed Up.”

Lenovo, the PC manufacturer embroiled in controversy over the installation of ‘Superfish’ adware on new PCs, has issued something of an informal apology on its US Twitter page.

This is the first direct apology from the company since news broke yesterday revealing the potentially devastating nature of ‘Superfish’. The software has been installed on many new Lenovo PCs since September, and initially appeared to be simple annoying adware. As bad as it was that a major manufacturer purposely installed adware on new PCs, the software was found to be potentially dangerous too, as it contained a certificate that allowed it to intercept seemingly secure connections to websites.

Lenovo initially said that it was “investigating” the claims, but has now come out with its first apology. An apology that many will be be glad to see.

Source: Lenovo US on Twitter