Skype suffered a massive outage yesterday that knocked most users offline. In an update this morning, Skype CEO Tony Bates said service has been fully restored for users in Europe and the Eastern US. Around 16.5 million people were online at the time of the report, which Bates equated to about 80% of the usual headcount for that time of day.

"We are bringing up the service in a controlled manner and things are moving in the right direction," Bates said. Skype's core functionality, such as IM, audio and video have been stabilized, but features such as offline IM and group video calling will take longer to restore.

"It's been a tough 24 hours for many of you - and I'd like to thank you for your patience as we bring Skype back to normal." Bates said the company is exploring the possibility of issuing a credit voucher to paying Skype customers, but there aren't any details on that yet.

The outage seems to have been an eye-opener for Skype. Bates explained that it has made the company more aware of how reliant people are on the service. Additionally, Skype plans to focus on communicating with users more during future downtimes.