Skype back online after multi-hour outage

UPDATE: Skype came back online around 1.30pm. The Microsoft service had been down since around 10am. The company has yet to detail a reason for the outage.

EARLIER: Microsoft's Skype service has suffered a major outage, which has hit users worldwide including New Zealand.

Problems began around 10am New Zealand time and as of midday were continuing.

Down Detector, which tracks service levels for websites, shows a huge spike in reports of Skype outages, coming from all around the globe.

NBR Radio broadcaster Grant Walker — a high-rotate Skype user with a professional account — says he has switched to Google's voice service in the meantime. Mr Walker says it feels pointless to contact tech support, given a Microsoft executive recently confirmed the service uses chatbots — a support desk technology he has found frustrating when grappling with previous Skype problems. 

As NBR types, Microsoft has yet to make any comment on the outage or address it through Skype's main social media accounts, although it has posted a minimalist message to its @SkypeSupport account: 

Former Microsoft NZ manager Brent Roberts caught the mood of many when he tweeted;