Skype Eating CPU – The Cause is Adverts

I have been found recently my laptop going through cycles of intense CPU activity and much fan-blowing. The hot air coming out the thing keeps my cup of tea warm, but does slow down other activities on the machine.

Looking in the task manager, it is Skype that is doing this, often eating up 25% of all four CPU cores. That is unacceptable. While minimized, Skype should be doing virtually nothing. It should sit there with a connection to Skype Central (where-ever that is) and just wait to be told to make or receive a call.

I have noticed that the Skype hone page is displaying adverts – animated adverts. I wondered if that was causing the problem? When minimised, Skype still ate CPU for breakfast, which I thought a bit strange. There is no reason to animate an advert on a minimised application. So I nearly dismissed the thought.

So I tried one of the other tabs on the home page. The “Profile” tab shows my profile and hides the advert. And that did it! CPU when down from a very warm 25% to a cool 4%. From now on, I will be selecting the Profile tab in Skype each time I log in.

So Microsoft – WTF? Why animate adverts on a minimised application? Why allow so much CPU to be used by an advert anyway? This has been happening to my partners less-powerful laptop for over a year. Can you simply not get around to fixing this stuff? It makes for a really awful user experience that reflects badly on Microsoft and Windows as a whole. However, I very much doubt you care. Microsoft, as an organisation has always been about making money, but you always did think they kind of cared something of the user experience. In recent years it feels like Microsoft have simply stopped listening to their users, stopped noticing what people are saying, stop recognising the problems people are having with their products because the lure is always on the next flashy swipe-things-around device.

Never lose sight of your customers. Never stop listening and never stop communicating.


One Response to Skype Eating CPU – The Cause is Adverts

  1. Malcolm Dobson 2014-07-23 at 11:11 #

    Thanks very much Jason for your remarks with which I agree entirely.
    Google Chrome is getting nearly as bad with adverts not only affecting performance but creating huge entries in the registry and in user folders. Old machines like mine just can’t cope. There are still a lot of old machines out there, can they not modify what they do on these so that they do not have such a detrimental effect? After all if you cant afford a new PC you are not going to spend money on the items they are advertising.


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