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Microsoft Software

MSN Messenger Access To Be Restricted 576

linuxwrangler writes "According to Infoworld, Microsoft has announced that as of October 15 some third-party software and older versions of MSN Messenger will no longer be able to log in to their Instant Messaging service. Microsoft cited 'security issues', but declined to offer specifics. The company sent an email alert to Messenger users, but users reported thinking the message was a hoax or virus after receiving over a dozen copies of the email."
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MSN Messenger Access To Be Restricted

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  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Exitthree ( 646294 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:46PM (#6749819) Homepage
    It's not vendor lock-in if someone else has the key. So yeah, it is a security measure. ;)
    • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bedouin X ( 254404 )
      According to The Inquirer [theinquirer.net] (yeah I know but bear with me), it looks like it could possibly be a security measure for their bottom line.

      EULA snippet:

      Replacement, Modification or Upgrade of the Software
      Microsoft reserves the right to replace, modify or upgrade the SOFTWARE at any time by offering you a replacement or modified version of the SOFTWARE or such upgrade and to charge for such replacement, modification or upgrade.

      In the event that Microsoft offers a replacement or modified version of or any upgr
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:46PM (#6749830)
    Now I feel sad. Not even Microsoft wants to email me.
    • by retto ( 668183 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:00PM (#6749988)

      Not even Microsoft wants to email me.

      Sign up for Microsoft's security bulletins and your inbox will never be empty. Hell I got three today.

      • by Lemmeoutada Collecti ( 588075 ) <obereonNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:20PM (#6750153) Homepage Journal
        All of which were retractions to prior bulletins because of flaws in the patches for the flaws, like I got?

        MS02-040 REVISED: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-040: Unchecked Buffer in MDAC Function Could Enable System (Q326573)
        MS03-030 REVISED: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-030: Unchecked Buffer in DirectX Could Enable System Compromise (Q819696)
        MS03-029 REVISED: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-029: Flaw in Windows Function Could Allow Denial of Service (Q823803)

        And people wonder why I won't install a MS Patch on a production system without thorough testing.

        They have a proven (and documented) track record of breaking things, both intentionally (DR-DOS) and unintentionally. They have been convicted of anticompetetive practices.

        And they expect me to believe that this move is for 'Security'? Sounds to me more like the security of their wallets.

  • jabber? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pigscanfly.ca ( 664381 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:47PM (#6749833) Homepage
    Does any one know witch version of msn jabber emulates?
    I really really want to keep useing jabber for my IM stuff (its not like I have a whole heck of a lot of choice , but running msn in wine is not my idea of a fun time).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:47PM (#6749838)
    The trillian developers are probably working on it as we speak
  • security, eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dema ( 103780 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:48PM (#6749842) Homepage
    Microsoft cited 'security issues', but declined to offer specifics.

    The "security issue" is, of course, the "leak" of vital advertisement money they would be getting (:
    • Re:security, eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nolife ( 233813 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:25PM (#6750182) Homepage Journal
      It's odd that they claim a client can be a security issue. If a rogue client has more or less access to a server and can do things to the server it should not be doing, the problem is the weak security of the SERVER. I don't remember if anyone remembers having fun with WinNuke back in 1997 but I believe the initial responses from MS was Windows itself was not really the problem, it was the rogue software and clients causing it as they were capable of sending OOB packets which would then crash Windows.
      • Re:security, eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cyril3 ( 522783 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @02:58AM (#6752534)
        I assumed they meant a security issue for the user of the MSN client ie as a vector. They are saying that the old versions are so hopelessly compromised that they won't allow them to be used in future.

      • Re:security, eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by epsalon ( 518482 )
        It can be a security issue. I don't know the details of MSN, but consider a different network: ICQ.

        The ICQ network allows anyone to add anyone else to his or her contact list without notification or authorization. The client simply sends the contact list to the server upon connection. If the server is to support older clients, it must allow for clients to be able to add users without confirmation, because the older clients don't do anything to confirm the user allowed them to add him or her.

        As the old PRO
  • by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:48PM (#6749849) Homepage Journal
    Oh, ya... this is microsoft we are talking about.. get people using it, then take control of it.

    Good way to cut off *nix users too..

    And yes i realize its their software, their network but i thought at one point they said it would remain open...

    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:55PM (#6749940)
      Who needs (Microsoft-using) friends anyway?
    • by Dark Lord Seth ( 584963 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:04PM (#6750038) Journal
      i thought at one point they said it would remain open...

      Oh, it will remain open I think. For anyone willing to cough up an appropriate license fee and willing to sign a pretty little NDA, which basically states your first born will belong to Microsoft.

  • by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:48PM (#6749850)
    Seeing as how the IM market is fairly competitive, and all those work with Trillian as well, is there any reason people wouldn't just leave MSN IM? Or is their service really that popular? (it's the only trillian service I've never used)
    • umm... everyone who has a Hotmail account. Since having a hotmail/passport account also gives you an MSN account. Although it's really just a matter if you use that service or not - much like my GF who has a hotmail account, but opts to use AIM because thats what most of her friends use.
    • by rice_web ( 604109 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:25PM (#6750180)
      What people fail to realize, is that IM is regionalized. In other words, each region adopts its own IM and sticks to it. I live in a small town in North Dakota. Early on, ICQ was the popular instant messager, but due to Windows' inclusion of MSN Messenger, MSN Messenger won over this market. Today, maybe 5% of the community uses ICQ/AIM. The same applies for much of the rural midwest. The cities are another issue entirely, where AIM comes into play. I don't know the numbers, but I'm guessing that AIM is the most popular IM in New York and LA, due to the large number of AOL subscribers. The problem here, while IM allowed millions to be able to communicate and share in a way that chat rooms failed to do (simplicity for one), is that this communication may draw boundries, with one city being 'incompatible' with another city just a few miles away. The bridge programs (such as Trillian) can help to take these borders down, but only if Microsoft and AOL don't mind.
  • yeah right... (Score:5, Informative)

    by greymond ( 539980 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:48PM (#6749856) Homepage Journal
    didn't AOL try to blobk trillian as well.... look how well that worked :) I use trillian to talk on ICQ, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN - I feel no need to run ALL those proggys - in fact I wish I only used 1, but some friends absolutely refuse to switch to anything other than - whatever happened to the days when everyone I knew was using ICQ and occassionally meeting up with eachother in an IRC room or web forum?
  • Formal agreements (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Phiz ( 21461 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:49PM (#6749859)
    "We are very interested in interoperating with all third parties, there just needs to be a formal agreement,"

    Requiring formal agreements could be a sly way to keep open source software out. How would an open source project go about making such an agreement?
    • How would an open source project go about making such an agreement?

      Ever since the Phonecians invented money, there has only been one answer to questions such as those... how much are you willing to pay for open source access to MSN messenger?

    • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:15PM (#6750122)
      Requiring formal agreements could be a sly way to keep open source software out.

      It's not a "sly way to keep open source software out"*, it's a not-so-sly way to counter OTHER people getting ad revenue/sales off YOUR network service, among other things.

      MSN messenger only really makes money off:

      • ads
      • way to get people to use MSN instead of AOL- after all, if all your buddies are on MSN messenger, you're not going to sign up for AOL no matter how many free hours, right?
      • Way to let MSN users stay in touch with MSN buddies, without running the full MSN client(say, at work)

      (last two being market-share 'enhancers')...which is pretty much why AOL offers AIM independently too. When a client like Trillian is a)letting people use your service without showing you ads and b)letting users talk to anyone on any network...well, now, you've just shot 2 out of 3 reasons for MSN messenger's free-ness, haven't you?

      Not to mention, someone at MSN's sales deparment finally realized "Hmm,, people are making money SELLING a client for our network! Hey! I bet WE can get a piece of that money!" They probably approached Trillian, Trillian probably told them to go screw, and MSN said "hah, watch us pull the plug". So, basically, Trillian etc will be forced to sign an agreement forking over xx% of their [gross/net/whatever] sales, the business world will perhaps do a little more than yawn, and the sun will rise tomorrow...meanwhile, Instant Messaging Planet will generate a dozen news stories and at least one conference over the whole thing ;-)

      * let's drop the persecution complex, for crissakes- companies do things for one reason, and one reason only- to MAKE MONEY, not join The Man in fucking open source over.

  • by rushfan ( 209449 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:50PM (#6749868) Homepage Journal
    Just a couple of years ago? Now they decide that they don't want to play with others now.

    Here's one of the many stories on it:

    http://net4tv.com/voice/Story.cfm?storyID=1693 [net4tv.com]

  • by Borg_5x8 ( 547287 ) <borg_5x8NO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:50PM (#6749869) Homepage
    ...or do we just have to scroll to the bottom of the page [slashdot.org] to find the Trillian-compatible Messenger version?
  • by thebatlab ( 468898 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:50PM (#6749875)
    from the article:

    "It is our expectation that those who use our service with unlicensed or unauthorized third-party clients will likely not be able to log on after Oct. 15," Sundwall said. "We would encourage those third parties to contact us to work out agreements by which they can continue to have their customers access our network."

    So....then I guess third parties will likely not be able to use the service but apparently MS is fine with them contacting them to work things out. Doesn't seem so bad. Unless of course MS starts charging exorbatant fees for third-party users of the protocol. Which would be pretty insane. For now, benefit of the doubt is what I'll give. Partly b/c I'm crazy :)
    • by the-banker ( 169258 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:54PM (#6749930)
      I am sure this has less to do with exorbitant fees and more to do with licensing restrictions. Do you really think MS will allow a GPL'd piece of software to access their network after the anti-GPL campaign they have conducted?

      MS is stifling interoperability. Just like they have in the past, and just like they will do in the forseeable future.
    • It is not even a matter of cost. It is a matter that MS can dictate any arbitrary aspect of the functionality or distribution of anything. Some possibilities:

      1. All software is property of owner, but cannot be open sourced and must be distributed under a standard MS license.

      2. MS has a need to collect personal informations. All clients of MSN Messenger must supply any requested information.

      3. MS has the right to cut off access at any time or demand an upgrade.

      4. All clients must support ads t

  • by The_Listener_1985 ( 693234 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:50PM (#6749876) Journal
    This is pretty bad news. I wonder if this is the first step in the process of charging for MSN messenger usage.
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by captain_craptacular ( 580116 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:50PM (#6749880)
    Wouldn't have anything to do with this announcement [neowin.net] would it?
  • I once used GAIM exclusively until I started using MacOS (learning experience... I still use Linux but not as my correspondence machine.) Anyway, I am relatively certain that the GAIM folks will come up with a way to allow connectivity. There will always be a way... just gotta keep on patchin'
  • SCO has Intellectual Property in both Trillian and MSN Messenger, and will soon sue users of both out of existence.
  • by the-banker ( 169258 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:51PM (#6749886)
    The implication that a network is more secure by only allowing MS developed software to access it is bunk. There is no logical reason why restricting clients and implementing security-through-obscurity will reduce anyone's exposure to network security problems.

    Well, I guess it would reduce Microsoft's exposure since everyone using the network would have agreed to a Draconian EULA that stripped them of all their rights.

    Be assured, this is not about security, it is about control.

    • by DeadSea ( 69598 ) * on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:13PM (#6750108) Homepage Journal
      If I were running a messaging service and I found that users were using a version of software that allowed somebody to send them a specially crafted message and take over their computer (think buffer overflow), I would disable that client and tell the user to upgrade.

      It looks to me that that may be what Microsoft is doing. They are not just disabling 3rd party software. They are disabling access with some old versions of their own software. If they start dissallowing access by software even when there are no known vulnerabilities in the software, that is when we should get mad.

      Your comment made the assumption that this is for Microsoft's security. I believe that it is for user's security. Microsoft is not providing a worthwhile service to the user if their "service" is a public backdoor into the user's computer. Microsoft knows this and they are doing the right thing. They have evidence of ways to crack certain softaware that connects to their servers. They have the ability to close the door on the vulnerability and they are doing so.

      As soon as Trillian fixes their bugs and opens a dialog with Microsoft assuring microsoft that the flaws have been fixed, Microsoft will open the service back up.

      But then again, I'm probably not paranoid enough for slashdot today. ;-)

  • This follows closely on the heels of the FCC's lifting of the restrictions on AIM, as discussed [slashdot.org] recently. Seems that MS thinks that if AIM can get away with locking people out, so can they.


  • The IM community is so partitioned now, that most users have to run 2-4 different clients in order to talk to all of their friends. What about a service that is open, cant be bought out, and will last for a long time?

    Has anyone run into a decentralized IM service?

  • Security, eh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Lynxpro ( 657990 ) <lynxpro&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:55PM (#6749932)
    Fascinating how Microsoft is using AOL's *excuse* to block third parties from accessing MSN Messenger? I seem to recall AOL using this reason to block MSN and others from its users and Microsoft responded by helping to set up IMUnified as a pressure group to convince the FTC and the FCC to require AOL to open up the AIM network to them... I love hypocricy (sic, if I spelled that incorrectly!)...
  • AOL didn't allow Trillian on their network for a long time, citing bandwidth and resource use from people who weren't looking at the integrated AIM ads or using the AOL service. AOL insisted that third-party clients use the vastly inferior TOC protocol [sourceforge.net] to connect to the AIM network instead of letting third-party clients use their proprietary OSCAR protocol.

    So what did the engineers at Trillian and GAIM do? They reverse-engineered the OSCAR protocol [sourceforge.net] and Trillian and GAIM can now use the AIM network again.

    If Microsoft locks down their network, I give it all of 3 days before Trillian and others can access it again. AOL tried and was unsuccessful. I doubt Microsoft will be able to stop this for long considering the negative publicity (and Trillian patch) that would result.
  • by Temsi ( 452609 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:55PM (#6749938) Journal
    According to this discussion [trillian.cc] on the Cerulean Studios [trillian.cc] website, their new version of Trillian Pro already supports the MSN 6 protocol, and thus should not be affected by this change.
    It's already in beta testing, and should be out before the deadline.

  • by JojoLinkyBob ( 110971 ) <joeycato@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:56PM (#6749946) Homepage
    Since when did security issues keep software off the street?

    Thanks Microsoft, for breaking the IM unity that Trillian was successful at providing. Is it just me, or does this paint M$ as a sore loser?
  • Well, rampant worms and other exploits of ridiculous security holes may be having their merry way with computer systems worldwide, and the traffic those generate may be slowing down the internet, but THANK GOD the Microsoft brain trust is making sure that their IM software is water-fucking-tight! Bravo, minions of Bill, bravo!

    /me stands up to applaud.

    ~Philly
  • Tracking? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geekmetal ( 682313 ) <vkeerthy&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:59PM (#6749977) Journal
    The upgrade is required because of "security issues" with the older versions of the Messenger clients, he said, declining to specify those issues.

    Do we read this as: The upgrade is required because "we can't track the behavior [slashdot.org] of our Messenger users " with the older versions of the Messenger clients and third party clients, he said, declining to specify those issues.?

    A similar action by talkcity.com about 4 years ago killed the activity in its chat rooms, wonder if Microsoft will let that happen or use strong arm techniques to keep the users!

  • MSN 6.x (Score:3, Interesting)

    by loconet ( 415875 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:04PM (#6750035) Homepage
    The only reason I use Msn is because most of my friends and clients use it, so I kinda have to use it if I want to keep in touch. No, They're too lazy to move to something else. This really sucks because up to now I've been using 4.6 and refuse to upgrade to the bloated piece of shit that MSN 6.x is.

    I also develop plugins for Msn plus, and like the fact that msn 4.x is nice, small and fast to start up when debugging.

    I want a fast, small, simple IM app. Not a freaking huge application that takes up half of the screen , gaming centre, washes my dishes, takes care of the kids, walks the dog. I cannot stand that program, I tried it twice but no! I hate it. This really sucks.

    Hopefully it will be rev eng soon. dmca? ARGH@#$
  • DMCA and USA PATRIOT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 4/3PI*R^3 ( 102276 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:06PM (#6750049)
    We all know what this means. A layer of access control needs to be implmented by MSN to prevent unauthorized clients from communicating on the network. Any third party client that is not ble$$ed by Micro$oft will have to circumvent this access control layer.

    After circumventing the access control layer one of two things will take place:

    Micro$oft will claim some sort of copyright on some of the data stored on their servers. This is not have to be the messages. It could be the compliation of the directory information of the user. By circumventing their access control you have gained access to a protected copyrighted work. DING DING DING DMCA VIOLATION DING DING DING

    Since all communications must go through Micro$oft's (or their duly delegated agent's) servers, by circumventing the access control layer you have gained unauthorized access to a protected computer system. DING DING DING USA PATRIOT VIOLATION DING DING DING

    Of course we all know why Micro$oft is really doing this:

    Lock in - Keep users in your system and don't let them talk to other systems either by your own client or by some third party client.

    Security through legality - This is one more piece of legal wrangling they can use to avoid any realy responsibility about any security concerns. Any security breach would require an exploit that the MSN client is not programmed to do. Thus any exploit would require writing a different client or modifing the MSN client. Either way this is an unauthorized client and the DMCA and the USA PATRIOT Act can be used.

    Same too ya - Uhhh, AOL is doing it to MSN so MSN is doing it to AOL.

    Gee, I guess I'll just use that analog, electro-mechanical, voice messaging system that the FCC won't let the baby bells completely destroy.

  • Pioneer days... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trevalyx ( 627273 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:06PM (#6750050) Homepage
    Ah, yes... I remember so fondly the pioneering days of Trillian, when I'd patch two, three times a day to maintain AIM connection. How excited I would get, coming back from classes and wondering if yet another release due to "flap error" was going to be necessary!
    It made Trillian that much more exciting to use, all the more so because I loathed (and continue to loathe) AOL so much. Of course, I always had ICQ to fall back on. Then AOL bought them and drove them into the ground.

    What we need is an open source, secure protocol for chatting, newly implemented for today's uses. I'm getting tired of chatting over AIM, just because it has something to do with AOL. Yahoo I don't like either, nor MSN, or ICQ for above mentioned reasons. And other chat programs with half-standards aren't at all what we need at all. There are more than enough able geeks out there, some solution shouldn't be too difficult to organize a consortium to address the situation. Mayhap I smell an Ask Slashdot in the future.
  • by ouzel ( 655571 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:10PM (#6750091)
    It appears this may be just affecting MSN's older protocols (MSNP7 and below). See this post [sourceforge.net] and this link [jupiterresearch.com], which is referenced in the post.

    BTW, I use Miranda [sourceforge.net] and think it's a great Open Source alternative to Trillian. Check it out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:12PM (#6750105)


    Microsoft's IM letter means you agree to pay and upgrade

    END USERS OF Microsoft's Instant Messenger software that got multiple copies of a mail advising them to upgrade yesterday need to read the fine print of the firm's terms and conditions most carefully.

    The end user licence agreement (EULA) for the new version of Instant Messenger has some clauses that suggest changes are afoot in the way Microsoft deals with this popular little software item.

    By clicking on the new agreement, users promise to pay for future upgrades and to acquire future chargeable upgrades whether they're wanted or unwanted.

    Read on... [theinquirer.net]

    ...

    What does this mean? It could mean that Microsoft may charge fees whenever it wants, and that you also have to stop using the software if the firm decides.

    Always read the fine print. If Microsoft addes this particular clause to operating systems, everyone might be forced to utter "Hail Palladium" when the push came to shove.

  • by Clinoti ( 696723 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:12PM (#6750107)
    I have to agree with many of you who are stating that one of the reasons for the change is the lose of revenue that they are losing by way of the captive advertising audience. However I think that the move is more along the lines of Microsofts vision of having one operation system as the sole interface for each and everything that may or will require a computer.

    The less they have to worry about catering to others, or time spent on monitoring 'others' on their products or network is time they can spend in their deployment of the one product end user goal. We've seen a glimmer of that mindset when last week they announced that the reason for BSOD's was outside programing etc.... LI}But eventually changes like this that ostracize entire portions of computer users will eventually lead to the better development by those who subscribe to deviant technologies. So in the end this move could start off the stages needed as a catalyst for better development and increases onward and upward.

  • ..So naturally (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mulletproof ( 513805 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:17PM (#6750134) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft will be shutting down this security and spam risk [grc.com] as well, right? Seeing as how they are security concious all of a sudden. Or maybe they'd care to fix this problem [grc.com], labelled a major security issue by the FBI. Or perhapse this URL exploit [grc.com] in SP1?

    Come on, MS. You can do better this blatant attempt to isolate your market under the guise of a security issue, especially when there are so many more important ones that have been left lying around for so long now...
  • by leoaugust ( 665240 ) <leoaugust@g m a il.com> on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:20PM (#6750151) Journal

    I have for the past few months being trying to consolidate my personality into a few well defined slivers ...

    • handling different email identities with a single email package has helped a lot, and the fact that I can receive messages from different boxes, and send messages from different boxes - all from a single application is godsent ... MS has a product called Outlook which dominates the market ..
    • I also am warming up to password management programs so that I have fewer passwords to forget ... MS came up with something that was supposed to help me - PASSPORT
    • I am trying to consolidate my "buddy" personalities into a manageable interface, and Trillian helps me. Now, wouldn't it be nice if MS came up with a product like they have done for earlier needs. But, no sir, they got nothing in this category. So, what do they do. They try to destroy the entire category.
    I think this is unfair. I think this is injust. I think this is immoral.

    And I think it is worse.

    Instead of helping me manage my different identities, MS is actually doing the opposite. MS is driving me to multiple personalities. MS is driving me to schizophrenia. This, I think is just, so, wrong.

  • Amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by josh crawley ( 537561 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:30PM (#6750202)
    I'm amazed that there isn't a single person on Slashdot who can figure this out. I hear plenty of conspiracy theories about how Microsoft wants to maintain their marketshare (for a free piece of software?) or that they don't want the protocol in the public domain (here's a hint: the APIs are all documented at MSDN Library [microsoft.com]) or that somehow this is some evil ploy to enslave all those people who couldn't just go use another FREE IM network. None of it withstands the test of logic.

    The only thing, and I mean the ONLY THING this is about is preventing the sort of widespread IM Spam garbage that permeates other IM networks. Messenger has always been top notch at this in the past, but if they don't lock down the service to known, registered client programs, it's just a matter of time until someone creates a high volume IM spambot (if they haven't already).
  • by simon_aus ( 649753 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @07:58PM (#6750352)

    Hands up who is surprised. It's standard business practice for MS.

    Hands up who is surprised. It's standard business practice for MS.

    1. Someone develops a valuable application of an open standard
    2. Make a poor copy the functionality and bundle it
    3. Gain wide acceptance
    4. Bastardise the standard
    5. Lock out competition
    6. Discover security flaws introduced by poor implementation
    7. Discontinue free/standalone version
    8. Issue fix in upgraded version of Windows

    Gates calls on FCC to examine AIM [com.com] (ZDnet)18 Dec 2000 - Microsoft chairman Bill Gates telephoned the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission last week to urge a close examination of America Online's dominance in instant messaging, a Microsoft representative confirmed.


    Leading Technology and Instant Messaging Companies Form IMUnified [microsoft.com] (The Devil Himself) - One of the things that makes this coalition so exciting is the opportunity to work together and learn from each other so that we can create a system that is even more private and more secure than what is available today, said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN at Microsoft Corp.

    AT this stage, I think we are only at stage 6 of the product lifecycle. Although the IETF announced Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) almost a year ago, IBM and Microsoft have promoted a separate standard known as SIMPLE (SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions). As IM becomes more important in the corporate sector the issue really starts to revolve around this proposed standard and the conditions under which it will be available or licenced.

  • You bunch of dorks. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @08:01PM (#6750374)
    Did any of you ever even once stop to think that maybe that particular protocol IS insecure?

    Last year, my friend went through the MSN messenger API and found all sorts of goodies. Within a few minutes, he was sending messages as if they were from other people. He played jokes on us for a little while, striking up weird conversations out of the blue.

    Think before you open your mouth.
  • by EvilSporkMan ( 648878 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @09:03PM (#6750769)
    It's not like Microsoft's network does a much better job of sending text or files ANYWAY...the text gets across no matter what client you're using.
  • by ChipX86 ( 102440 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @09:13PM (#6750829) Homepage
    I just put up a page [sf.net] that describes the situation slightly and mentions what we can and can't do about it. Please read it before asking us on IRC. We're getting flooded with questions.
  • by Bruha ( 412869 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @09:36PM (#6750971) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if this has anything to do with the recent rules dropped against AOL. Also here's a nice tidbit from MS..

    "It is our expectation that those who use our service with unlicensed or unauthorized third-party clients will likely not be able to log on after Oct. 15," Sundwall said. "We would encourage those third parties to contact us to work out agreements by which they can continue to have their customers access our network."

    Let me rephrase a bit of that.

    "We would encourage those thrid parties to contact us to work out payments by which they can drive away your customers"

    I've also heard a rumor that a new version of MSN messenger yet unnannounced will include the ability to work in a similar manner of Trillian which allows you to consolidate all popular IM Programs into one program. I have no way to verify this "Rumor" but it's really hard to say MS wouldnt do it.

    Has anyone else heard otherwise?
  • by !Squalus ( 258239 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:03AM (#6751832) Homepage
    Who cares? Drop MSN and their messenger. It is a joke anyway. Use Jabber of GAIM or Yahoo or anyone else you know.

    As Clausewitz said, "fixed fortifications are a monumnet to the stupidity of man."

    Microsoft is just building a moat around their customers to protect their revenue stream. That never works.
  • by M3wThr33 ( 310489 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @12:20AM (#6751951) Homepage
    Check out the news archive at Trillian's website.
    A long while back, Trillian got an impromptu upgrage because MS was changing the network and was letting Cerulean Studios in on it. They say unauthorized third-party clients, meaning there exist some that ARE authorized, or at least less of a security threat.

    Heck, Trillian has blowfish encryption on SecurIM!
  • by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @01:29AM (#6752238) Homepage Journal
    What I haven't seen here are messages about Yahoo [yahoo.com] porting its messenger to a couple of Unix flavours [yahoo.com]. One of the developers even maintains a nice FAQ [yahoo.com]! The current version (1.0) works like a charm, with RPM and deb packages available. The next version 1.1 will probably support webcams.
    • from the faq (Score:3, Interesting)

      by koekepeer ( 197127 )
      19: Do you plan to support plaform foo?
      Where ..etc..etc.. binaries.

      It is unlikely that we would ever build a Caldera/SCO version, however.

      hehe funny :)
  • by frost22 ( 115958 ) on Thursday August 21, 2003 @03:04AM (#6752547) Homepage
    I phoned MS support after getting that email (I have MS Gamevoice, which only works wirth Messenger up to 4.6)

    They told me on the phone it was a virus email.

  • Movva-Lai Draft (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hackrobat ( 467625 ) <manish.jethani@nosPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @05:09AM (#6752877) Homepage
    Stop bitching about Microsoft for a change. Microsoft is the only "commercial" IM provider that has been in favour of a standard protocol for IM. They published this draft in 1999, a complete spec of the MSN Messenger 1.0 Protocol [hypothetic.org].
  • by koniosis ( 657156 ) <koniosis@hotmai l . c om> on Thursday August 21, 2003 @09:34AM (#6754369)
    Thats right along with Hotmail it's just a matter of time till M$ decide you need to PAY to use the services. It seems hotmail keeps losing features everyday, until eventually you won't even be able to read e-mails with it unless you pay... I can see IM going the same way, then it wouldn't matter which client you use, you'd still need a subscription. It's ok though, they'll say its for security reasons, I mean, if everyone's paying, it MUST be secure, right?

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