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Recently, I saw a one-line Skype message dated 7:36 AM. I saw and responded to this message with one line at 9:39 AM. The other person wrote three lines back again in the early afternoon, which I did not see until significantly later, but which showed up in my interface as additional lines in the 7:36AM message, as if these additional three lines had preceded my 9:39 reply, as if I were writing in response to those lines as well (and in this case, that makes a difference for the meaning of the communication).

When I tried copying the text and pasting it elsewhere for discussion, I noticed that the time-stamps on the messages in the pasted text were around 1:01 and 1:02 PM, even though the time-stamp displaying in the Skype interface (desktop app v7.17.85.105 for Windows 7), which was highlighted as selected for copy, clearly read 7:36 AM.

I then closed and restarted Skype. After the restart, the four lines were still grouped together as part of the same message, but now timestamped 1:01PM and sequenced all after my 9:36 AM message which responds to the first line, now appearing to be oddly either responding to nothing or using past tense to refer to a premonition of the message to come. Copying the text again gives the early afternoon time stamps.

The person messaging me is & was in the same time zone.

Why are message time stamps inconsistent and changing around?

Example from forums:

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This is a well known bug in Skype, that keeps coming along every now and again in automatic "updates" that are supposed to "enhance" the performance of the software. Unfortunately, they can't quite get it right, and version 7.17 has the bug again. It's been there for the past few weeks.

See one list of threads about the bug here.

The "only workaround" according to Skype is to manually downgrade to an older version, 7.16 or earlier.


UPDATE: About an hour ago, Skype released a new version 7.18 which it thinks should fix the issue. "Skype 7.18 addresses some issues you have been reporting here on the Skype Community. In particular chat messages shown out of order [links to 3+ year old thread instead of any from the current round] and conversations staying as "unread" even when you have read all messages."

The new version can be manually downloaded from the website and installed.

Be sure to uncheck the defaults "Install Skype Click to Call," "Make Bing my search engine," and "Make MSN my homepage in IE, FF, Chrome, & Safari" if you're just trying to restore the basic idea that a text messaging system should present messages in order.

With the update, "Other changes include an updated selector for Mojis and emoticons which can now have separate sections. And of course we've also added bug fixes anf [sic] general stability improvements."

Old ideas of valuing simple, functional software that can do something specific, do it well, and keep doing it that way, are apparently just that: old ideas.

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