Skype add-on for Firefox caused 33K crashes

Well things didn’t go as planned for Skype or for Firefox. 33 thousand crashes in one week for an add-on means that it was pushed out too soon. Now two companies have egg on their face.

Crashes, and poor performance has caused Mozilla to pull the plug on the Skype add-on toolbar for Firefox. Likewise, it remotely disable it following because of performance issues.

Skype is a computer software software application that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet (VoIP). Calls to other users within the Skype service are free; others are available outside of the service for a nominal charge.

Mozilla thought they had a good add-on when they contracted with Skype to produce a toolbar add-on. It comes bundled with the chat program and it installs automatically with the main application. The add-on transforms telephone numbers found in web pages into clickable hyperlinks for easy dialing. Sounds good right?

But the add-on caused serious performance problems, as well as crashing the browser for over a total of 33,000 times in a single week. Mozilla, didn’t give up easily. They spent two weeks on the problem, but in the end couldn’t resolve it; what was worse, Skype couldn’t either.

A Mozilla representative explained it this way. “Given the volume of crashes, the extent of the performance impact, the fact that users don’t actually choose to install this add-on, and the extension team’s lack of response during the weeks we were giving them to solve these issues, we should continue as planned to soft-block all versions of Skype in all versions of Firefox immediately.”

What is a soft block? A soft-block will remotely disable the add-on, yet users will have the option of overriding the block. A hard-block would disable the add-on and not give the user a chance to override the block.

Mozilla hopes that by soft-blocking the add-on, which is a partnership ploy, (they still want to work with Skype) this will encourage someone at Skype to fix the add-on problem.

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