Domino, Notes and videotape
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SkypeI have for a while wondered why Skype can boast having 299 million users. It’s a huge number, and while the product is arguably used by a lot of people, I’ve still found that number a bit fishy. Until today. Because today I realised why they can claim having so many people using their product.

My offspring bought a new laptop, and I helped him set it up. Then it came time to connect and start up his Skype client. The school he goes to uses Microsoft’s One Drive. This means that he has a Microsoft account with an outlook.com address as well, even if he insists on using Gmail and Chrome (yay, I’ve been a good father!)

A few years back, Microsoft bought Skype. This means that you can connect your Microsoft account with your Skype account. So that’s what I tried to do. In my infinite naiveness, I thought that should be no problem. But after telling the Microsoft account to connect to Skype, the latter pops up and asks you for your Skype user name and password. What? Skype user name? What is that?

I tried the offspring’s full name. I tried his gmail address. I tried his outlook.com address. I also tried all the passwords he has ever used. Nope! So I clicked on the “forgotten my credentials” link, and lo and behold an email about how I could reset the password landed in his gmail account. – Aha, I thought. – This means that his Skype account is registered with his gmail account.

I clicked on the link provided in the email, and I was now taken to a web page where it showed the users associated with that account. No Skype user name or email address in sight! I could choose to reset the password on that page. But get this: Resetting the password would mean that I also would reset the password to his Facebook account! Err…what? On this page I was also told that I also had the alternative of logging on to Facebook and continue from there. So that’s what I did. And the Facebook user name was the very same user name Skype didn’t accept!

I was now totally and utterly confused, so I contacted a colleague of mine who a while back told me had a similar problem to hear how he had solved this. – Oh, I solved it by just creating a new Skype account he said.

Ok. I then moved on to another friend of mine who also had this problem. He said the same thing: – I just created a new account.

I then googled the problem, and guess what the answer most forums and blogs gave was? Yup, you guessed it.

Regaining a forgotten user name on Skype is like regaining your virginity. You  give up, and then you just create a new account. And that’s why Skype has 290 million users!