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America Online

AOL Bridges AIM and ICQ 486

Checkmate3 writes "Looks like AOL has finally made good on plans to integrate ICQ and AIM... eWeek talks about a new version of ICQ which will allow for users to message across the two networks." I have to agree with the sentiments expressed in the article. I can't remember the last time I used ICQ, or even what my number was.
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AOL Bridges AIM and ICQ

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  • ICQ + AIM = (Score:5, Funny)

    by danormsby ( 529805 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:07AM (#6189572) Homepage
    So now I can get spam from two places at once!
  • by Alranor ( 472986 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:07AM (#6189576)
    so it might as well be me.

    Use Trillian [trillian.cc] , it rocks.
    • Miranda (Score:5, Informative)

      by eddy ( 18759 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:16AM (#6189621) Homepage Journal

      I like Miranda [miranda-im.org] better. Miranda just gets everything right. Light-weight by default, and plugins [miranda-im.org] for everything else.

      I couldn't even find the source-code for trillan. Is it available? If not, Miranda wins _hands_ down since it's GPLed.

      Too bad it's Windows only though.

      • I was going to ask if Miranda has an IRC plugin as well because I haven't seen anyone mention it specifically and I didn't see it mentioned on the web site.

        Then I decided to not be lazy and found that it does [miranda-im.org] for anyone else that may be wondering.

        I've been using Trillian for a while now but I may have to check out Miranda when I get home.
        • Re:Miranda (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jugalator ( 259273 )
          This doesn't really come as a surprise...

          Trillian Pro: Currently 26 plugins
          Miranda: Currently 167 plugins

          Granted, Trillian supports a couple more IM's out of the box, but Miranda do have a large and very active plugin developing community. :-)
      • Re:Miranda (Score:4, Funny)

        by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:57AM (#6189879)
        I couldn't even find the source-code for trillan. Is it available? If not, Miranda wins _hands_ down since it's GPLed.

        That's a rather strange argument. By your logic, this IM program is superior to Trillian:
        /* This program is GPL'd */

        #include <stdio.h>

        void main(int argc, char** argv) {
        printf("Sorry, IM functionality is not implemented yet!\n");
      • excellent--i've been looking for something to replace trillian ever since i had to start using it due to aol breaking icq enough that i couldn't use that client anymore. i really hope i can tab to the send button--that's always been the most annoying part of using trillian for me.
      • Re:Miranda (Score:3, Interesting)

        by edwdig ( 47888 )
        One great thing Miranda has going for it is it's the only multi-protocol IM client I've seen that supports single message mode. Finally a way to use AIM without windows popping up over what you're doing.
    • by imtheguru ( 625011 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:18AM (#6189635)
      ... and use Gaim [sourceforge.net], for Linux and Windows. Has capability to connect to AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu(?) and IRC networks.

      • I use Fire [sourceforge.net]

        It too does all of the above, cocoa native. Much in common with Gaim.
    • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:42AM (#6189786) Journal
      Not really -- it doesn't support international characters from other IM's correctly, that's said to be due to poor UTF-8 support (which pretty much all other IM's support and use). This bug has been silently ignored by the developers for around a year by now. For example messages received from ICQ Lite has its international characters removed

      This for a commercial software.

      Miranda is both free (as in beer) and open source, and has no problems whatsoever with international characters, while also offering far more plugins than both Trillian and Gaim.
    • Use Trillian , it rocks.
      Does Trillian support using both at once? The last time I looked it only supported using one or the other, not both at the same time. I have friends on AIM and different friends on ICQ and need to log into both networks at the same time with different IDs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:09AM (#6189589)
    Integration will allow people to choose which service they like better - AIM or ICQ. I don't think they are anywhere near getting rid of ICQ - it has too many users, especially overseas. Integrating with AIM will allow these people to communicate with people who like the less sophisticated AIM communicate with ICQ users. --- Addicted to adult entertainment? [porn-free.org]
  • Trillian (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ezs ( 444264 )
    Rocks - but doesn't provide messaging between networks - i.e. I still need AIM, ICQ, MSN, Y!, IRC accounts.

    Trillian [trillian.cc] provides a unified and consolidated view of all of these IM worlds - but you can't send from ICQ to AIM or vice-versa.

    btw - I donated and use Trillian Pro.

  • by zal ( 553 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:12AM (#6189606)
    as icq still is the dominant IM around here
  • Jabber (Score:4, Informative)

    by wazlaf ( 681158 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:16AM (#6189624) Homepage
    I have given up on ICQ/AIM a long time ago. I now use Jabber [jabber.org] for all IM needs. Seriously, I recommend it to everyone who is currently using ICQ or AIM. There are transports which can connect you to your previous network so that you don't loose connectivity to your friends.
    • Oh yeah. Jabber is great. Sure, the big servers (jabber.org/com, mostly) have been blocked by AOL, but having one big server that everyone was on was never the objective of Jabber. They wanted something like E-Mail, with a bunch of smaller servers. So if you pick a smaller server that offers good services, you can still use the transports. And since you can use transports on servers other than the one you're logged in to...

    • Re:Jabber (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JMandingo ( 325160 )
      We moved from AIM to Jabber at work because it can be secured via SSL. Problem is the server goes off the air several times a day. Grrr.
  • Great Future, But... (Score:2, Informative)

    by nant ( 534932 )
    They brought ads to ICQ Lite now as well... Which makes this build of ICQ Lite useless. Back to build #1150 which serves no ads amd is a real Lite version of ICQ.
    • Use a firewall to block port 80 traffic on ICQ. That will eliminate the ads, then you can use whatever version you want.

    • If you need to download it, oldversion.com is the best. I agree though, Lite made ICQ useable, to where if it had been out 5 years ago, it would have continued to be #1. One thing ICQ has that i like is their message logging. Sure, Deadaim and MyIM are good for AIM, but they're just plug-ins, and still buggy.

      Believe it or not, i have my ICQ # memorized.. 30955539. Although, it's been a couple days since i've used it.

  • I still use it.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kaltekar ( 464545 )
    ...its improved in many areas, which is good. But after AOL took over it has lost much of its appeal. Now I primaly use AIM, only cause thats what many of my friends(Yes, I have friends) use. Now I can run one program and talk to both, wahoo!

    • I personally prefer AOL Instant Messenger not only because it's easier to use than ICQ, but most of the people I know that use instant messaging are on AOL IM. Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger users are a much small group compared to AOL IM users.
  • Openness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mac123 ( 25118 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:19AM (#6189643)
    We're supposed to feel good about AOL allowing AIM users to message to another AOL proerty (ICQ?)

    Gee..that makes me all warm inside.

    What happenned to AOL's commitment to open their platform to message to other systems? Like MSN/Yahoo/etc.

    As I recall, that commitment was made as a part of the approval for the (now drastically failed) AOLTW merger.
    • As I recall, that commitment was made as a part of the approval for the (now drastically failed) AOLTW merger.

      I'm not entirely sure if you're trolling or not, but if you are, it's a weak one.

      One of the stipulations for the AOLTW merger was that they offer specs to their protocols for video communication. They never said anything about instant messaging.

      If you think about it, sadly, it makes sense.

    • Thats what the TOC protocol is for, of course it lacks all features people expect, so it's about worthless.
      Also, IIRC the conditions were if aol adds 'advanced features' (webcam, desktop sharing, etc) they have to open their networks, which is why msn and yahoo are basicly clones of eachother, whereas aim is lagging behind on features.
    • http://www.cnn.com/2003/BUSINESS/05/30/aol.msft/in dex.html

      â The two companies will explore ways to establish "interoperability" between AOL's instant messenger network and a similar network that is part of Microsoft's MSN service. That could allow an AOL member to more easily send an instant message to a MSN member.

      My guess is this will be SIP based.
  • Finally! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:19AM (#6189645)
    The idea behind ICQ is good (it was the first popular personal IM system, after all (and no, IRC doesn't really count as one)), but the client has sucked ass for years. ICQ has been on the ever decline since it was bought by AOL - and that was a looong time ago. The client kept getting bigger, more bloated and buggier, but the recruitment of new people to the network has just kept dropping (probably because of the client). This move is probably exactly what's needed to save ICQ, and to keep MSN from conquering the market.

    I was on the verge of giving up ICQ myself (but not to move to another network, since my buddies were all on ICQ), when I found Miranda IM [sourceforge.net]. Open source, fast, small, and even interoperable with ICQ, AIM, MSN, Jabber, you name it. I've never even looked at the official client since then...
  • by Draeven ( 166561 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:20AM (#6189648)
    Personally, I can't stand AIM. I haven't used it in a while, but when I did, It had no automatic logging feature, messages popped up automatically screwing with what I was doing, the Away feature didn't allow you to speak to people and remain in Away mode, the idle detector was an invasion of privacy and personally, I feel the program was bloated.

    Since the ads came, ICQ hasn't been any better.

    The answer? Miranda IM (http://www.miranda-im.org/)

    Comes default with ICQ support, and plugins are available for AIM, Yahoo, Jabber and other such protocols. You can also get plugins to manipulate many of the behaviors of the program. Everything from new message interface windows to ALICE chatbots.

    I don't mean to sound like an advertisement, but I feel Miranda is far superiour to ICQ or AIM's clients, and Trillian for that matter. Trillian != free, thus I cannot afford it. =P
    • Personally, I can't stand AIM. I haven't used it in a while, but when I did, It had no automatic logging feature, messages popped up automatically screwing with what I was doing, the Away feature didn't allow you to speak to people and remain in Away mode, the idle detector was an invasion of privacy and personally, I feel the program was bloated.

      Automatic logging aside (Which I hate.... I don't need people I know keeping endless logs of what I say to them. I've had more then one friend come back later c
      • I agree with you about the logging. At least, having it on by default. The perceived ephemeral nature of IM causes people to say things they normally wouldn't say; even if they didn't really mean it.

        To illustrate just how annoying this could get, I put forward the example of a man and a woman arguing. Now imagine that everyone you know has the ability to quote verbatim every single mistake you've made since first meeting them.

        (Word to the wise: when involved in such an argument, jokingly saying "the eleph
        • Why I LOVE Logging (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Uart ( 29577 ) <feedback&life-liberty-property,com> on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:45AM (#6190204) Homepage Journal
          I love auto-logging for these reasons:

          1) Ever accidentally close an AIM window before you could read an incoming IM? I hate having to admit to doing that, and then, having to request a repeat of that comment.

          2) Sometimes people say hilarious shit. My AIM logs provide hours of entertainment.

          3) I rarely use AIM logs to quote people's mistakes, and am not paranoid about others quoting mine. I know my friends are logging me -- and I don't say things that I want off the record via IM.
          • I agree with the original guy on the pop up stuff, it's one of my main reasons for still preferring ICQ over the rest! I use ICQ 2000b, and I've stuck with that one because it's still mostly compatible with the network. I ran software to strip the ads, and I'm all set.

            The great thing about ICQ is it's messaging interface in my opinion, if any of the other messengers offered a similar interface I'd dump ICQ. I like that I can set it to only blink a small little icon next to my clock when I have a message, i
    • Comes default with ICQ support,

      Yes, but how exactly do you disable ICQ? What about those of us who have NEVER used ICQ, and don't see any reason to (no one I know uses it...)? I tried Miranda-IM, and finally ended up making up an ICQ number just to get it to open and connect. The FAQ's were of no help (for all you RTFM folks.) I don't like having to do things like that. Some people actually do like things that just work. Hence why I drive a Honda and not a GM (yeah, yeah, flame away.)

      I don't mean to

    • So true, I love Miranda. It's just perfect, exactly what I had always been looking for. After ICQ taking 10 seconds to start up, and Trillian (which I used for a month or so) not being a whole lot faster, Miranda's down-to-earth feature set was really refreshing. I don't use it for anything but ICQ connectivity, but it's a way better ICQ client in every respect than ICQ itself ever was. BTW, it's using 4 MB memory, 2 MB swap file right now (running for 8 hours or so) - I think ICQ never used less than 12. N
    • You can talk to people with AIM while away without killing the away message -- you just have to directly connect to them before setting your away message.

      It's a pain when you've already set an away message, but with a little foresight, it's possible.

      Not picking arguments, just sharing a tip for those using AOL's IM client.
  • by trash eighty ( 457611 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:20AM (#6189649) Homepage
    i used to use ICQ but its very crash happy on a Mac but the OSX bundled IM program is AIM compatible isn't it? does that mean i can now use iChat to contact people on ICQ networks?
    • it only supports AIM (And Mac.com according to the protocol list, whatever that is..)

      I for one will be happy as a pig in shit if it means i can stop using the OS X version of ICQ, because nothing else supports all the standard features (file transfer, chat, history logging) as well as the official client. i used to be an avid ICQ supporter, and then i went to college and found everyone under the sun uses AIM (probably because it's easier to use so the average non-computer user can figure out how messag
    • You can use Fire for OS X, which works with ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, irc and Jabber. Works OK for me! And it's free!

      Get it from http://fire.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

  • SMS! Sign up and you can message peoples phones for free. This is an incredibly useful feature.

    I can't be bothered with the interface however. It's like someone said - let's design a non-standard user interface which buries our bastard users up to their eyeballs in configurable options! There is add a simple and expert mode, but some of the frequently used settings don't appear in the simple mode.

    I'd prefer AIM anyday. My understanding is that under the surface they use the same IM technology anyway so

  • ICQ- what happened? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Traderdot ( 677425 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:24AM (#6189670) Homepage
    Seven or eight years ago, everyone I knew used ICQ. Gradually, people shifted to AIM. I still don't know how that happened but at some point AIM reached critical mass and most people I knew dumped ICQ entirely.

    ICQ had more features (able to msg people offline) and AIM was and is relatively featureless. Maybe that's what people like. Just the basics.

    In any case, I use Trillian [trillian.cc] to log on to all the different services at once. (Jabber is another option).

    For those of you complaining about ICQ bloat, there's ICQ Lite [icq.com] (link is to the alpha version that can communicate with AIM)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      First of all, this seems to be a country-thing. All my friends/contacts are on ICQ. One or two are on the AIM-network too. AIM doesn't seem to have made any great inroads here in Sweden, but then, I can only speak for myself and the people I hang with.

      Secondly, those who don't like bloat should be running Miranda [miranda-im.org].

      People who love Trillian but hasn't tried Miranda yet should do so, you might find a new love (unless you're partial for bloat and glitz and non-source availability).

      • AIM doesn't seem to have made any great inroads here in Sweden

        I think you're right about it being an american thing... everyone I know around here (Ontario) uses ICQ or MSN. I'd say that the split is about 50% MSN, 40% ICQ and other networks take the rest. It may just have something to do with the name. Many non-americans tend to resist overt examples of americana, but if you were just change the name...

        That, plus almost no one here uses AOL to get online. :p
    • The internet took off. I think what happened was that most of the people on the net in the ICQ era were gearheads of some sort, and were able to use the features. In the mid-to-late 90's, the net reached into John Q. Public's home, who doesn't give a damn about all sorts of features, and AIM began to grow. Now, AIM, next to cell phones and SMS, is the basically a way for teens today to flirt with each other, mostly because of AOL. If a fair percentage of your friends were on AIM, wouldn't you use it too?
      • AIM grew because AOL got on the internet, and when all of your friends are on AOL (and use AIM because it comes bundled with their internet service) what are you going to do?

        I once heard a statistic that almost 100% of AIM users are Americans, where ICQ has a far more international mix. ICQ users are also considerably more technically proficent than AIM users as a whole. Personally, I can't stand having windows appear in front of me at inopportune times, so I never use AIM.
    • That's basically what happened to me. I liked ICQ more, and still do. Too bad basically everyone I knew switched over to AIM. I eventually stopped loading it at all...
  • popup messages (Score:2, Informative)

    by slitfinger ( 454784 )
    The only reason I still use ICQ is because it's one of the few clients that lets you keep messages in the tray and have non-conversation mode messaging. I don't know why anybody would want an instant message popping up and taking the focus from whatever you're doing, or even wasting space on the taskbar. Miranda can do it too but it keeps crashing on me.
  • Why am I using ICQ right now? Because it has a lot of really important features that AIM lacks. Offline messaging, more in depth profiles, and screenname formatting flexability. Sure its not great for wimps who can't remember their ICQ numbers. Of course both the ICQ and AIM clients suck so much I've used neither since I discovered Trillian, Fire, gAIM, iChat, and Jabber. Now only if they'd adopt some of the features that WASTE has, like ambiquitous encyption(although I'm being told that the latest AIM
  • by Zanguinar ( 60223 )
    I use Trillian and/or gAIM, so I have access to both my ICQ and AIM friends. However, I sorely miss the days where ICQ was the standard. To me, it's just a better application.

    First of all, let me remind people that these are instant messaging programs. However, they've turned into chat programs. I don't want to chat with somebody, so don't keep a resident chat window up. I want to send an instant message. One. Then I want to get an instant message. Not a chat. What ever happened to that paradigm?

    Also, I

    • by lorax ( 2988 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:55AM (#6189859)

      First of all, let me remind people that these are instant messaging programs. However, they've turned into chat programs. I don't want to chat with somebody, so don't keep a resident chat window up. I want to send an instant message. One. Then I want to get an instant message. Not a chat. What ever happened to that paradigm?

      letmesee, you want to be able to send a message, then at some undetermined time later you want to get a reply, and until then, not know if the person actually got it? That paradigm is now called e-mail, please update your paradigm dispatch table.

      And, of course, there's my personal favorite: invisible mode. It's very handy for when you want to jump on to look for a specific person you need to get in touch with, but don't want to be bothered with talking to anybody else.

      What happends if the person you want to talk to is also in invisible mode?

      It seems that what you want is the benefits of IM (instant access to all your friends whenever you want) without the disadvantages (they have instant access to you) It seems a little unfair to me.

      On the other hand, the Occupied status seems useful, 'don't bug me unless it is important'

  • Leaving aside all the lesser-used/open-source IM clients, of MSN, AIM, Yahoo and ICQ, ICQ is the best one. MSN doesn't offer offline messages, AIM sucks, Yahoo is not too bad but ICQ is the most useable and reliable imho.

    Merging it with AIM will just take it downhill I imagine...
  • by AceMarkE ( 154966 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:30AM (#6189715)
    ICQ was, at least as far as I could tell, the first truly widespread IM client, and certainly the first popular client for Windows (yes, I'm ignoring IRC and Unix's "talk"). I originally got it because it had become a requirement for my Mechwarrior 2/Netmech clan (which would put it somewhere back around 96/97). My number was ~1.1 million, so by that point it had already taken off reasonably well.

    Interestingly enough, I'm pretty sure that early on ICQ had most of the features that AIM has added on in recent years, though I don't happen to have an old copy of it around to compare for sure. Unfortunately, later versions became nothing more than an exercise in "How many new buttons can we add per version?" (see this ICQ history page [ezbytes.co.uk] for an example).

    Ultimately, I think the two major items that have hurt ICQ are the feature bloat and the network effect. AIM's ability to communicate with AOL users offered a huge incentive to those who didn't have AOL, and with if the people you know are on AIM, why bother with ICQ? AIM's relative simplicity didn't hurt either.

    So, while ICQ may not be quite dead yet, it's certainly lost the role of leader and pioneer that it once had. It's a bit of a shame seeing an old favorite go the way of Prodigy and Compuserve, but I guess that's life on the 'Net.

    Mark Erikson
  • This isn't new (Score:5, Informative)

    by rit ( 64731 ) <bwmcadams.gmail@com> on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:31AM (#6189718) Homepage
    You've been "Bridged" for ages.

    ICQ uses the AOL network.

    Type your ICQ # and Password into ANY AIM Client, for example the sidekick which I know works, and connect.

    AIM loads you in, loads all of your buddies, etc.

    If you use GAIM, there is no AIM plugin or ICQ - there's one called AIM/ICQ.

    Same protocol...happend ages ago =)
    • I challenge you to a karma duel.

      I assert that you are incorrect. The networks are not "bridged" unless you can send a message from an ICQ user to an AIM user and vice versa.

      If you can post, in reply to this, specific instructions on how to send IM's between the two networks, you win the duel, and the moderators are instructed to mod me down to -1. On the other hand, if you cannot produce said instructions (thus indicating that you are wrong), the moderators shall mod you down to -1.
  • old news (Score:3, Informative)

    by Faceprint ( 2612 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:31AM (#6189720) Homepage
    Their servers have been able to do this for some time. As a result, Gaim has been able to do this for a long time (a couple releases now, at least).
  • I know this is about integrating the actual networks, but Gaim has been allowing you to do this for some time now. You just need an ICQ alias. I agree though, the official ICQ application is a piece of shit.
  • Gaim (Score:2, Informative)

    by TheKingAnt ( 124592 )
    I would just like to point out that Gaim has supported messaging between ICQ and AIM for a few months now.

    Windows AIM has supported receiving messages from ICQ users since maybe March, but Gaim has been the only ICQ client (I know of) that is able to receive messages from AIM people.
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:45AM (#6189800) Homepage Journal
    IMO, The fact that ICQ uses numbers to identity users is probably part of the reason that people prefer other instant messenger services. Which would you have a better time remebering: 57544362769 or mynickname? When AOL took much of Compuserve's market it was because people loved the way AOL used names for their users and not numbers, as Compuserve did. The first step in making something user friendly is making what they use, easy to remember.

    When it comes to the client I really didn't care much for it, especially the one for MacOS X. When so many friends being spread across services I opted to use multi-messenger clients such as Fire [sourceforge.net] on the Mac and Trillian [trillian.cc] on the PC.
    • Which would you have a better time remebering: 57544362769 or mynickname?

      I guess that's a reason for the country-divide (US/AIM vs. Europe/ICQ). In the US, every company has a telephone number resembling some name (like 1-800-MY-APPLE for the Apple Store US [apple.com]). In Europe, regular telephone numbers are used (like 0800-2000136 for the German Apple Store [apple.com]). ICQ numbers aren't really much different to telephone numbers, I actually know both, and I know others who do too.

  • 174581... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lordfly ( 590616 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @08:45AM (#6189804) Homepage Journal
    That was my UIN (still is, incidentally, on Trillian). Man, those were the days.

    I remember being able to log in and not be spammed to death by random people (either "ASL?! I WANT TO SEX YUO" or sales for penis pumps). I also loved the interface, where sending messages was more "e-mail" than "instant messaging". It let people come up with more eloquent responses to one another, rather than firing off one liners. NOw everyone gets impatient or thinks you went offline if you take more than 30 seconds to reply to anything.

    Did I mention the program was relatively bloatfree back in those days? You know, before they turned it into a Swiss Army Knife with stupid features no one uses. Activelists? Come on now.

    Ahh, but then everyone I knew switched to MSN (duude, it's soo simpler!), and the days of eloquent messaging were gone, washed away by that fucking butterfly.


    *puts an away message on Trillian and goes to work*
  • i like icq (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PhiberOptix ( 182584 )
    but the old one. the ad-free, non bloat without webservers, chat windows, spam, etc.
    but i guess i'll have to go back in time to 1996 to see that again.

    nowadays i see more and more yong ppl using microsoft messenger (yes, that piece of crap). why? comes preinstalled by default on windows xp and it's a pain to get rid of it.
  • One thing I have always thought AIM should do is incorporate into itself a system like ICQ has, where you can leave offline messages for friends. I wonder if, with this bridging, that is in the works or not?!?


  • Besides the lack of 'integration', thats one major reason i dumped the 'native' clients long ago..

    Once they drop the ads, and add Y! and MSN to their features, that many of us unfortunately need, i might consider it..

    Until then.. its Trillian and Kopete..

  • ICQ is far from dead (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alpharoid ( 623463 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:23AM (#6190066)
    I don't know where the "only six million users" statistic came from, but maybe it was related only to the US. ICQ is still huge all over the world (except the US), and although its user base is indeed declining, all the people I know are switching to MSN Messenger (it now comes with Windows, etc).

    Lots of places in Asia and Latin America center almost entirely in ICQ and MSN, and most people don't even know AIM if they don't have any American contacts.

    And it's not much of a loss either. I'm not meaning to troll, but if you don't communicate with an American userbase, it's probably the worst IM client out of all the "major 4". Yahoo allows offline messaging like ICQ; MSN is just as easy to use, comes pre-installed now and has user appeal right out of the box; ICQ is still, by far, the most feature-rich IM client. And a lot of these exclusive features are, in fact, useful. :)

    For me, the integration news is good news. If the ICQ features are made available to AIM contacts as well now (invisible/visible lists, offline messaging), I recommend some AIM users give the integrated ICQ a shot. It's a good reason to ditch the AIM client, not the other way around.
  • by rosewood ( 99925 ) <(ur.tahc) (ta) (doowesor)> on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:26AM (#6190093) Homepage Journal
    Silly rabbits! ICQ > MSN, AOL, YIM

    Why? Logging and Offline messages! I use trillian as my client so I dont have to have multiple programs but I prefer to chat over ICQ over any of the others.

    The ability to send someone a message if they are online is just great. The fact that AIM and MSN can not do this makes these two services quite frankly SUCK.

    Also, last time I checked, icq was the only im client that logged all chats by default.

    If you have an ICQ spam problem, just block messages from people not on your list. I havent gotten an ICQ spam in quite some time.
  • by crashnbur ( 127738 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:27AM (#6190105)
    When I first signed up to ICQ, I had a four- or five-digit number. Then I never used it, because it was early in the game and I didn't have anyone on my list. A couple years later when it made more sense to use it, I had long since forgotten my password... hence, 9775929! And I think I ended up forgetting that password and signing up for an eight-digit UIN before I finally ditched ICQ.

    AIM is so much better for what I want it to do. My only problem with it is that I can't be set "Away" and talk to someone on my list at the same time. That would be so useful for keeping the IMs down...

  • by umrgregg ( 192838 ) * on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:31AM (#6190125) Homepage
    My biggest concern is do these programs allow for inter-client (say Miranda to MSN or ICQ to Miranda) transfer of files? Is there a way to use the video conferencing 'tools' (and I use the word tools loosly) of MSN through any of the clients.

    If all you want to do is chat this is all well and good, but I've noticed that if you want to start sharing pictures or video with family between clients and platforms (from mac to win to linux) problms arise.
  • Memories... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Coyote67 ( 220141 )
    I recently found my old icq number and ventured to log back in to maybe talk to some of my old friends from back when ICQ was THE messaging client. Well it turns out back then ICQ didn't store your "buddy list" online so its pretty much a waste of time. ICQ imho is a dieing messaging system. The only people I know who use it are software pirates. Not that I'm saying ICQ attracts software pirates. I don't think the liquor industry attracts organized crime either. Infact......oh nevermind.
  • This kicks ass! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @09:38AM (#6190164)
    I'm actually a fan of ICQ, probally because it's been around the longest, esp the fact that the network offers peer to peer messanging rather then routing it via MSN or Yahoo's servers. The only reasons I don't use it on a daily basis is living in America no one really uses it anymore, they've all moved on to MSN or Yahoo servers. The only people I know personaly who use it on a regular bases are those who corispond to users is places like Hong Kong, Germany, and Belgium.

    But needless to say it's a big deal in places like europe. I've knows a few people in Belgum who's phone offers SMS-> icq service long before we in america started seeing phones with SMS -> other chat services. While this is just an uneducated observation, icq seems to have caught out more quickly. I'd suspect it's do to the sillyness of paying moolah for local calls, such an insentave I suspect it's likely for ICQ's popularity.

    From what I remember SMS-> AIM and ICQ messaging were the first to be seen on mobiles, so I see this intrgragation as being a big deal. No longer would it be the big 4 messanging standards that need respective software support.

  • by enigma971 ( 593043 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @10:17AM (#6190501)
    I haven't used ICQ since my freshman year of college 5 years ago, but as soon as I saw those 3 letters, my number came right back to me. But I still can't remember my girlfriend's birthday. Kinda creepy.
  • I got Gaim. (Score:2, Informative)

    by grafikhugh ( 529618 )
    It has a few problems that I expect will dissapear as it nears 1.0 , but the ability to keep all of your chatts and msgs in a tabbed window is an awsome feature. I also have a spell checker installed to help me with a problem that me and about 95% of slashdot users have. It does all the usual stuff like multi platform communication and everything AOL's aim offers.
  • ICQ support SUCKS! (Score:2, Informative)

    by JohnnyGTO ( 102952 )
    You would think these dorks could change a password and email it to the original account creator.

    I lost 116117 about a year ago with a bogus multi line foriegn character password and I still have yet to get anything but bullsh!t responses from ICQ.

    Need my own Jabber server.....
  • by Jack Comics ( 631233 ) * <jack_comics@nOspAM.postxs.org> on Friday June 13, 2003 @10:31AM (#6190604) Homepage
    I had an ICQ UIN account in the six digit range, specifically below 500000. I had that number for several years, and registered various e-mail accounts with it. That was my mistake. It turns out that low ICQ UINs have a black market, where Eastern Europeans, especially Russians, tend to "steal" UINs and then sell them off to the highest bidder through various web sites, such as this one [vipuins.com]. You can use it for a while, a year, maybe two, and then they'll steal it back from you and re-sell it. This happened to me. I once had my primary e-mail account for my ICQ UIN be a @operamail.com address. Eventually, my @operamail.com e-mail address expired, and I switched over to e-mail with my own domain name. I made sure that this was changed with my UIN as well. However, ICQ has this lovely little feature where they'll e-mail your password to any and all e-mail addresses you have *ever* listed with your account. Thus, even though my UIN was set to use an @apparition.org e-mail address, a Russian managed to create an @operamail.com e-mail address that was the same as the one I used before, and used ICQ's password reminder feature to gain access to my account. I found this out because one day ICQ was no longer recognizing my password, and using the same method that the Russian stealer used, I obtained the changed password, and logged on, only to find a half-dozen new contacts and several messages waiting for me, all in Russian. A few days later, I got a message in Russian that roughly translated as, "How dare you steal my UIN from me. Give it back, now!" Riiight... Soon enough, they used the ICQ password retrieval feature again and re-changed the password. This went back and forth for about a week before I gave up and let the Russians win. I e-mailed ICQ support, and received a useless generated reply, telling me how to go about changing my password. Since then, I've realized that ICQ is as secure as a box of Cheerios, and have moved on to different instant messengers.
  • by MacGod ( 320762 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @10:41AM (#6190690)
    I find it interesting that the spread of Instant Messaging usage is so different than what I've personally noticed.

    Maybe it's a Canadian thing, but my experience (and everyone I know seems to be the same has been that the popularity of the messengers goes like this:

    1. ICQ
    2. MSN
    3. All the others. I don't even know a single person who has ever used AIM, Yahoo, Jabber or Gadu-Gadu.

    FWIW, I use Proteus [indigofield.com] a very well-written Mac client that does ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, AOL IM, AOL IM(Oscar)-whatever that is, Jabber and Gadu-Gadu.

    Yes, it's shareware, and no, it's not GPL'd, but it's still damn good software!

    Does anyone have any sort of stats on regional/national usage of different IMs? Since your IM of choice is largely based on how many of your friends use a given network, it's not totally illogical that it might vary from place to place.

  • by jgarzik ( 11218 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @12:37PM (#6191790) Homepage
    A bit of a sarcastic subject, but nonetheless, I think the "my client supports N protocols/plugins" is not something to brag about, it's describing a sad state of affairs.

    The world doesn't need more plugins, the world needs fewer protocols. I read the "AOL bridges AIM and ICQ" from the perspective of hoping the AOL was moving towards the use of the Jabber protocol [jabber.org] as a common baseline for instant messaging.

    Jabber is a nice superset of existing instant messaging and chat functionality, from the programmer's perspective. It is, IMO, technically superior to ICQ, MSN, IRC, and other chat/IM protocols. The main thing that prevents it from dominating is really acceptance/buy-in from the big IM providers: AOL, MSN, ICQ, ...

  • by acidrain69 ( 632468 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @01:28PM (#6192442) Journal
    you can send a message to an offline user and they will get it when they login. You can't do that with AIM. AIM says it has that buddy bounce feature, but you still have to BE there to send a message when they get back. With ICQ you just send te message, leave your computer on, and even if you aren't there, ICQ will send the message to the recipient when they log in. I know my ICQ number. It's in the early 2 million range, I've been using it for a while. MOST of my friends are on AIM, but a sizeable minority are on ICQ.

    AIM is just like any other stupid tech that won out. It won because people who didn't know better used it (because they have AOL). Except in this case there is no winner because AOL owns and operates them both :) Hopefully they will now take the best of both worlds and make a kickass client once and for all.

    And this time I hope they clean up ICQ. Who the fuck thought up all those features!? Too many menus, too many stupid options. Emails, pagers, groups, retardedness. They should have just made it clean and simple.
  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Friday June 13, 2003 @03:06PM (#6193584)
    I'm Norwegian, that is northern Europe. I've never met anyone that says they've used AIM. Just about everyone still uses ICQ or MSN and from what I've heard that is also true of most other European countries.

    Slashdot have lots of readers from other places than the US, and it seems the editors either forget about that or do not care. The rest of the world does not mimic the US in all regards.

    When the editors add comments like "I can't remember the last time I used ICQ, or even what my number was." it is obviously to suggest that nobody uses ICQ. This might be true in the US, but it is probably not true of the rest of the world.

    Europeans obviously still stay here despite of this, but it is quite annoying at times. There are other places in the world than the US.

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley