Wednesday was not one of Skype's better days; the free web based software based telephone service suffered a major outage as nearly every customer was affected.

While the company says the service has begun to return to normal, many people are still offline. Skype CEO Tony Bates, a former executive at Cisco, has sent out a video apologizing for the outage and giving an update on where the company is at with bringing everyone back online.

As of 5 pm on Thursday the 23rd, Luxembourg time, where the company is headquartered, Bates said about 16.5 million of 25 million users are back online. For this time of day, that's about 80 percent of where we'd typically be when we look at current usage from the previous days, Bates said.

Bates said the company has stabilized core services: text, IM, audio and video. In order to do this, it used servers from other services such as group chat and offline IM. He said it will take longer for those services to get back up.

Along with apologizing for the outage, Bates said the company is investing giving a free credit voucher to its customers. The company explained yesterday that the supernodes, individual connections between computers and phones that help the company operate, were offline, thus causing the problem.

Skype's last outage of this magnitude was in 2007.