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AOL-Yahoo-MSN Messaging Unified... in the Workplace Only 235

bakreule writes "Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo! are teaming up to link their separate instant messaging services for use in the workplace, 'the first major step by the industry leaders to enable computer users to communicate with one another no matter which of the three systems they use.' Sound to good to be true? It is. 'What this does not do,' Root said (yes, that's his name), 'is the holy grail of instant messaging, which is to allow anybody on any network to send a message to anybody on any other network.' It seems that the system, which is aimed for corporations, involves some MS software which acts as an intermediary between the different systems. Sounds like a fancy version of all the open source IM clients out there."
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AOL-Yahoo-MSN Messaging Unified... in the Workplace Only

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  • by garcia ( 6573 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:20AM (#9706997)
    Sounds like a fancy version of all the open source IM clients out there."

    No, it doesn't sound like gaim or any other client. It sounds like a centralized control center for tighter watching over employee's IM conversations. gaim doesn't automatically forward my AIM messages to someone on MSN or Yahoo without me having an account on each. This seems like it would do that. gaim doesn't log all my conversations from all networks and store that information in one spot so that my boss can watch what I am sending across the networks.

    Why does MSFT need to be the one doing this? How about an Open initiative that wouldn't require the three IM giants? It would likely be less money, better for the employers, and operate with more features and less bugs.

    Too bad the employers only trust those that shouldn't be trusted.
    • by Jahf ( 21968 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:24AM (#9707032) Journal
      If it uses middleware to translate between them, then it most certainly does sound like Jabber [jabber.org]. GAIM, no, Jabber yes.

      However even though this uses MS middleware, it could still be a good thing as it might make MSN/Yahoo/AIM less likely to break their protocols just to stymie the open source clients. Maybe not, maybe they will just tell MS to update their middleware, but no way to tell just yet.

      • However even though this uses MS middleware, it could still be a good thing as it might make MSN/Yahoo/AIM less likely to break their protocols just to stymie the open source clients. Maybe not, maybe they will just tell MS to update their middleware, but no way to tell just yet.

        Unless MS is paying them for access to their protocols, I doubt anything will change. I actually think that even if MS is paying for access to their protocols, they will still want the software broken every so often by the other

      • by dschuetz ( 10924 ) <david.dasnet@org> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:42AM (#9707246)
        If it uses middleware to translate between them, then it most certainly does sound like Jabber.

        Except that Jabber doesn't allow an AIM user to talk to a Yahoo! user. Unless that's changed in the last couple of years (since I abandoned Jabber for Trillian). The problem isn't multi-system clients (like GAIM or Trillian). The problem isn't centralized logging (which Jabber "proxies" certainly can do, as another poster recounted). The problem is trans-system communication.

        What's needed is something like this: "aim:david" or "yahoo:david" (yes, I'm avoiding using my real IM ID's :) ). But to do this, we'd need:
        • Clients that can have trans-system buddies
        • A server that can accept a message from a client bound for a different system, and route that to the different system
        • A server that can accept a message from a different system's server, pull the IM destination out of it, and pass it on to that user's client
        This isn't even beginning to address the question of passing presence information across systems.

        Having not read the FA, I'm not sure exactly what they're talking about now. If they're coming up with their own implementation of such a system, and just expecting everyone else to modify their servers/clients to be compatible, then I'm not sure it'll work. If, though, there's a cross-provider effort to standardize on some of the above, then there's a chance it might just work.

        Unless, of course, I missed something glaringly obvious. Wouldn't be the first time :)
        • If you use a Jabber server, you have to use a Jabber client (I believe). If your Jabber server has the right transports it can handle Yahoo, AIM/ICQ and MSN.

          However you're right, this only solves -your- end of it, your friend on the Yahoo server can't have non-Yahoo buddies (you just appear as a Yahoo buddy to them using your Yahoo account through the Jabber transport), but it will solve the problems on your end.

          Jabber does at least the first 2 items you mention (trans-system buddies in the client, server
          • Yes, it means you have 4 different accounts for each of the 4 systems, so it is not exactly what you want, but it is a reasonable approximation and could be used in a scenario where a company didn't want to pay MS for their middleware. The biggest problem you have is when one of those systems changes their protocol.

            That that's exactly the problem that I was getting at. Jabber doesn't provide "any user on any network to talk to any other user on any other network" functionality. That's still going to req
          • If your Jabber server has the right transports it can handle Yahoo, AIM/ICQ and MSN.

            Actually, you can use any transport you want, you aren't restricted to your own server in any way: This is Jabber's beauty, that many servers can coexist instantly and (as long as it isn't deactivated, of course) talk to each other. Transports are just "servers" which you see as having all Yahoo/MSN/whatever users, with @ changed to % (e.g. fred%msn.com@msn.thetransport.net)

        • Jabber does this (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wurp ( 51446 )
          At least as far as it is possible to do what you're saying, Jabber does it. You can't communicate to anyone on Yahoo unless you yourself have a Yahoo ID, so Jabber makes you get one. Once you have a Yahoo ID or an ID on any other IM, Jabber lets you message to anyone on that IM directly from your Jabber account. It uses *exactly* the kind of aim:david address that you're talking about, using xml.

          Until you get the IM services to accept a universal namespace and messages from another system, Jabber is as
          • The point is that the holy grail is just that: an AIM user sending a Yahoo user a message without having to get a Yahoo account.

            Kinda the same way a Cingular user can text message a Verizon user without buying a Verizon phone.
            • The point is that the holy grail is just that: an AIM user sending a Yahoo user a message without having to get a Yahoo account.
              As long as IM accounts remain free and easy to obtain, and multi-protocol clients [trillian.cc] continue to exist, the grail is somewhat less than holy. Yes, it'd be nice to use my AIM account to talk to a friend on Yahoo or MSN. Until then, I just have one of each and use Trillian.
              • What about those of us who don't like the available multi-protocol clients? What about those of us who don't want to have multiple accounts, but would occasionally see a use in having an account with another service?

                Really, there *is* incentive to allow this - the theoretical reason for IM to be free is that the ads in the official clients support it monetarily. Official clients are not multi-protocol. Right now, AOL loses money (ad views) when someone wants to be able to message both AOL and MSN at the
        • With jabber an AIM user may not be able to send messages to a Yahoo user. But a jabber user with an AIM or Yahoo transport configured properly( having an account on both AIM and Yahoo) can send and recieve messages from both systems. Does not trillian require you to have accounts on each IM system?

          Your aim:david scheme sounds alot like what jabber already does, when I am logged into a jabber server my friends on AIM appear to me as jabber users with nicks like david@aimgate.jabberserver. Presence inf

        • by Pendersempai ( 625351 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @10:25AM (#9707676)
          Basically what you'd need for Jabber interoperability with AIM, YM, and MSNM is consent of AOL, Yahoo, and Microsoft. That is the missing component, has always been the missing component, and will probably continue to be the missing component for years.
    • by mfh ( 56 )
      > No, it doesn't sound like gaim or any other client. It sounds like a centralized control center for tighter watching over employee's IM conversations.

      I agree. There are plenty of open clients that can do what they're planning on doing. The control center concept seems evil, so it must be true.
    • Gaim does log everything in one spot by default. And we don't need another open initiative - we've got Gaim, or, if you're internal only (and thus don't have to worry about what others are using), you can get better features, more security and so on with Jabber.
    • exchange has a instant messenger ability (msn compatible client), this tool would be ehchanced to proxie the other im clients. much like jabberd can be enhanced with other im transports.
    • Actually, it is (relatively) open. Microsoft has a press release [microsoft.com] discussing the initiative. The passage of interest is:

      Standards-based architecture. Live Communications Server is built using industry-standard protocols Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and SIP for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), enabling a broad partner and developer ecosystem.

  • by hummassa ( 157160 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:23AM (#9707020) Homepage Journal
    Jabber is the holy grail of the IM.
  • by trompete ( 651953 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:24AM (#9707033) Homepage Journal
    I was a trillian user for two years and have now been a Gaim user for a year. The only thing that would change for me is the number of sockets that my computer would maintain.

    I wonder if this movement would also spark a movement toward disabling 3rd-party clients. That would NOT be good.

    Trillian [trillian.cc]
    Gaim [sf.net]
  • by tpgp ( 48001 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:24AM (#9707036) Homepage
    AOL-Yahoo-MSN Unified

    Man I'd hate to see the baby.
  • by Iphtashu Fitz ( 263795 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:25AM (#9707056)
    If gaim [sourceforge.net] supported all this. My company standardized on Microsofts corporate IM system but all our operations people use linux exclusively. We use gaim to IM with each other but can't access the corporate IM system since there's currently no linux client that supports it...
  • by auburnate ( 755235 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:26AM (#9707064)
    If I were AOL or Yahoo, I'm not so sure i would want Microsoft providing the software to provide the intermediary connections. In the light of all the wonderful IE exploits and such.

    My $0.02 ... Nate

    • If I were AOL or Yahoo, I'm not so sure i would want Microsoft providing the software to provide the intermediary connections.

      If I was AOL or Yahoo I'd be happy with MS doing it.

      Why? Because neither AOL and Yahoo probably have the development resources to do this and, by having Microsoft, you're almost certain that it'll gain widespread adoptance as soon as they bundle the service into the default install of their server or integrate it into Microsoft Outlook.

      In addition, if it all falls apart, it's M

    • Of course you're entirely correct. However if there's any lesson I've ever learned, it's that people don't learn their lessons.
  • They need to merge all of the IM services in the future, anyway. Having to hastle with 4 different messengers is a pain, regardless if you use the clients or not.

    Imagine if you had to have four different telephones, one for each telephone system. No one would put up with that. No one at all, but everyone finds it the norm with messengers.

    Oh well. Trillian rules for the time being.
    • by ACNiel ( 604673 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:46AM (#9707282)
      You see, one company charges another to carry their call, and the first company, in turn, charges you.

      With all this money floating around, coming out of your pocket, these companies are more than glad to route each other's calls. It all happens for a price.

      If you don't want to have to worry about 4 different clients, there is always email, with its highly standardized protocols that anyone can route anywhere.

      What we really need is a ubiquitous standard like SMTP, for IM. That way, any person can start up their own service, and everyone else could still get the messages. And then a whole new spam threat would emerge, the main downside.

      The fact that we need centralized servers to be logged into is part of the core problem. If anyone could set up a server, it wouldn't matter what messages Yahoo would forward to where, someone else won't be such a prick.
      • IRC is pretty much exactly what your talking about, except that it has a host of additional features and already exists. The standard is wide open and available; it's just that no one has made a client (at least one that I've seen) that behaves like AIM

        It's not an unreasonable idea, but then again 12 year old AOLers is not what I want to see on IRC.

        • How about Gaim? That's pretty much an AIM clone. Wouldn't take more than five minutes to write an extension to have the buddylist do a periodic "/whois buddy1 /whois buddy2" and set up a privmsg. Heck, it probably already does that.
      • What we really need is a ubiquitous standard like SMTP, for IM. That way, any person can start up their own service, and everyone else could still get the messages.

        Such a thing is already on the way [ietf.org]. Incidentally, Microsoft's Live Communication Server (which is the basis for this new interoperability) already uses SIP/SIMPLE as the basis for the protocol. From what I've heard, IBM is going in that direction for its next enterprise IM product, too. The standard isn't completely defined, yet, and every v

      • "What we really need is a ubiquitous standard like SMTP, for IM. That way, any person can start up their own service, and everyone else could still get the messages."

        Just use SMTP for transport. Put an extension in the header. And code up an IM like client for reading them in an IM window instead of an inbox format. That way anyone can send Instant email messages and if the person does not have a IM enabled client then it will be received as regular email. Treat buddy lists as a seperate service and pro
  • For years these three have been defeating even the basic initiatives of companies like Trillian, but when the M$ giant steps in they all seem to fall in line. With standards in place for communication like this, does it mean the end of the weekly protocol changes that plague Trillian users? This could work out very nicely indeed.
    • No, it sounds like they will write a IM server with a totally new protocal that all three IM clients can use. Then they will use this for the office IM servers, so the clients will all connect to this in the in office, and then use the old protols (and keep changing them) for the internet.

      Just speculation of course, but that would make the most sense I think.
  • Sounds like a fancy version of all the open source IM clients out there.

    I think don't you that this kind of thing can be better done by open source means? ok large corporations like say MS and say AIM and any others have so much organising to do they are bound down by bureaucracy. politically Yahoo might not want to mingle with say Apple or somethng, but with open source servers acting as a go between gateway we dont have to worry about getting official tacit approval we can just do it. we have the smartt
  • Scary. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    For the workplace? Great, integrate 3 different plain text protocols and ask your employees to do business over them.
  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:29AM (#9707099)
    I get the need for dominance, which is why interoperability is rarely persued by corporations, but IM itself would be best served as a 'generic' message medium. If it is impossible/difficult to IM 'Bill' 'cuz he uses Yahoo and I use MS, email/phone will normally get the nod.

    To use the over-hyped XML paradigm, standard tags would allow every IM vendor to talk with each other. Then more would use IM, allowing the vendors to add features and lower pricing (economy of scale).
  • uh oh... (Score:5, Informative)

    by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:30AM (#9707110) Homepage Journal
    "This lays the groundwork for instant messaging to become as widespread and useful as e-mail is today," said Taylor Collyer

    If it becomes as "widespread and useful as e-mail" then that means I'm going to have spam popping up on my screen every three seconds. Goodbye, Instant Messaging.

    In any case, this is all nonsense. AOL, Yahoo, and The Beast should all just implement the server-to-server protocol used by Jabber. It's on the IETF standards track and will eventually be used by everyone who isn't one of those three.

    Actually, if one of the big three (probably the smallest of the big three, whichever that is) implemented the protocol, the other two would pretty much have to.
    • I'm already getting AIM spam. Every night I get home from work to find 5 or 6 messages asking me if I want to Get Better Mortgage Rate.

      Of course I block them, but lately I get this pang of fear that I will hit my max number of screen names blocked >_<

      • Does AIM have an option to automatically block messages from anyone not on your buddy list? MSNIM does (by default) and if there is IM spam on that network, I certainly don't get any of it.
        • Yes, in AIM you can set it so only people on your buddy list can IM or so only people on your whitelist can IM you (I think that means up to 400 whitelisted between the two, but I've never used either feature).
    • In any case, this is all nonsense. AOL, Yahoo, and The Beast should all just implement the server-to-server protocol used by Jabber. It's on the IETF standards track and will eventually be used by everyone who isn't one of those three.

      While this is true, "those three" still move the vast majority of IM traffic across the 'net. It would be like coming up with a proprietary email system - sure you can do it, but you'd still need gateways to talk to most other people (just like MSFT had for Exchange at firs
  • by josevnz ( 647715 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:36AM (#9707170) Journal
    Hello to all,

    This is welcomed news, but the people at Jabber (http://www.jabber.com) did something like this first. Using a Jabber client you can talk to the three other networks by using an special plugin installed on the server (http://www.jabber.org/user/userguide/).

    Also Jabber is a very extensible platform that can be used almost for anything (like System monitoring, for example):

    http://www.jabber.org/about/overview.php?PHPSESS ID =2517926c4f71caed9f6bff1af6843dbd

    Also as the original poster mentions, Gaim already does this without problems (even when Yahoo decides to change their protocol, which is almost every 6 months :)).

    Regards,
  • AOL, MSN, Yahoo, iChat, ICQ, and Jabber are already unified ... in Japan

  • Why is it that Trillian has such enormous mindshare over Miranda [miranda-im.org]?

    • Re:Mindshare (Score:3, Informative)

      by iamsure ( 66666 )
      I'll be honest - I've used both, and while philosophically I leaned towards Miranda, I've given up on it.

      Why?

      Because on multiple occasions, I've reported bugs with great detail regarding issues with connectivity, and after six releases, the issues never got better.

      As it is even today, I can load Trillian or Gaim and have no problem connecting to the four corporate networks, but Miranda WONT. Thats pitiful.

      Thats why I switched to GAIM - There are *many* plugins and options I really miss from Miranda, but
  • SameTime (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PktLoss ( 647983 ) * on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:42AM (#9707247) Homepage Journal
    When I worked for a larger company we all used Lotus SameTime (often called sometime, as in it should work sometime), it worked quite well, and the integration between the client and corporate lists was really usefull.

    IM clients are a happy comprimise between the phone and email. A phone nesesarily distracts the contactee from whatever they were doing, while many people only check for email every X minutes. An IM message doesn't have to pull them away from whatevery they are doing, and they can respond at an apropriate moment.

    IM clients also provide more granular controll over your status, and display that status to others. With a phone you can answer, check call display and let voice mail handle it, or send all to voice mail. With IM you can be available, busy, do not disturb, away, etc. The fact that this is displayed to others can also allow them to make decisions on wether or not to bother you.

    All in all I am glad to see greater acceptance of IM in the workplace
  • They're a crafty bunch... if they can't outright dominate a particular market or knock a competitor out of the way, then they'll partner with the competition long enough to get the right momentum and then steamroll them.

    If I were Yahoo! and AOL, I'd be VERY concerned that Microsoft was controlling the server software.
  • by krygny ( 473134 )

    NOT!

    Two reasons:

    1. I've never seen anybody in the workplace using IM for anything other than goofing off with friends in another company or elsewhere in the same company.
    2. We have phones.
    • I have seen IM used properly for work. It is easier and quicker than e-mail if you want to send a quick message, and it is easier to have short dialogues than e-mail. As for phones, IM is less intrusive (if someone is busy, it doesn't disturb them) and if it's not urgent then IM is just easier.
    • I've never seen anybody in the workplace using IM for anything other than goofing off with friends in another company or elsewhere in the same company.

      Many companies are starting to standardize on corporate IM solutions. Where I work we have offices in 5 different states and we standardized on Microsofts corporate IM a while ago. Those of us in the oprations group standardized on Yahoo's IM long before that (for one thing MS doesn't have a linux client). We wouldn't be half as productive without an IM

    • MSN is required at my company.

      Here's why:

      - active/inactive lets you know if someone is at the computer pushing the mouse around. A big step towards knowing what is going on in the company.

      - Co-ordinated online training requires the phone to be used, so IM allows communication despite a 4 hour conference call

      - IM replaces the "walk around" part of a lot of tasks, scheduling meetings, discussing lunch, etc. That saves a LOT of time.

      - Is much easier to use than "paste illegible postit on monitor" so peo
  • by Zapman ( 2662 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:47AM (#9707293)
    There are lots of really valid reasons that don't involve big brother for companies to keep an eye on IM communications. First off, I know people in my company who commit financial transactions for the company over IM. It's completely stupid that they do this, but they do it none the less. An audit trail for the company's money is required.

    The second thing I can think of is corperate espionage. Companies spend lots of money on products that audit email leaving the company, looking for sensitive documents, key phrases, etc. We really need the same thing for IM, if it's going to be used in a business context for business data.

    I'd also love to see a promise that the chanel between me and the person I'm talking to is encrypted. I can do that with email: force TLS encryption from my email gateway directly to theirs.

    These are all good things, and don't get to the 'big brother' complaints. Those will be there, and I believe that there will always be a free IM without these auditing requirements for people who don't need them.
    • GAIM has an encryption plugin that is a little quirky but pretty easy to use. I don't think it's completely bulletproof (there is some "man in the middle" attack it is vunerable to) but overall I've been very happy knowing my conversations are encrypted.

    • There's another reason - the law. For us in the financial industry, all communication have to be logged and archived for x number of years (about 7 I think). This includes email, IM, phones (only certain lines) etc. That's why our firm (currently) bans IM, because they can't reliably log it, and thus would be breaking the law to allow it's use. If this product allows realiable logging, it may just open up a large market for IM vendors.
  • by dekeji ( 784080 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @09:49AM (#9707313)
    There is no reason at all that IM needs to rely on few corporate giants installing centralized IM hubs. The problem is self-created (out of an attempt to tie users into proprietary services).

    The solution is simple: corporations wanting to use IM should take control of their IM infrastructure and install one of the open source IM systems (Jabber, IRC, etc.) on an external server, just like they install their own mail servers. Or they can outsource it to one of many hosting companies that support those services.
  • "Sounds like a fancy version of all the open source IM clients out there."

    Who says it will be "fancy"? If it's like other MS software, it will be an incomprehensible, unusable kludge.

    Mod this flamebait! Mod me troll! Is that all you got, huh? Are you nuts? Come at me!

  • That's why we run a private Jabber server accessible across our private WAN.
  • The far older Unix talk, write and even mail still work the best. Understandably UDP can be hard to set up on limited "Internet" connections and most don't have their own MTA anymore. However this is all interoperatable and often p2p. Even mail used on the commandline is faster than any of the popular IM services, if you (or your company) have a MTA.

    If you can't figure out how to make it work over NAT or are stuck with DHCP, get a shell account. Even in the clear, it is presumably more trusted than dealing
  • email (Score:3, Informative)

    by Johnny Mnemonic ( 176043 ) <mdinsmore@gm a i l .com> on Thursday July 15, 2004 @10:22AM (#9707644) Homepage Journal

    This scenario and confusion is what email would have been like if standards weren't set and available for free use--imagine only being able to send an email to someone with the same service.

    Instead, the selfless designers of internet protocols gave away their idea such that it could be implemented by anyone anywhere, and email is a valuable tool.

    Compared to the greedy bastards that are trying to "own" IM, so the end result is that IM is barely more than a toy.
    • imagine only being able to send an email to someone with the same service

      Imagine it? Some of us lived it. Then things got "better" in the early '90s and you could gateway mail between services by hand:

      http://www.nelson.planet.org.nz/faqs/Updated_Int er -Network_Mail_Guide
  • Are these guys as stupid or what. Didn't the MSFT/Sun Micro "agreement for Java give them a recent and visible indiactor or how much Microsoft can be trusted?

    If there is any way Microsoft can control such a system, it is just plain stupid to continue. That is , if the other vendors( Yahoo and AOL ) want to have anything to do with IM in the future.

    BTW, this is exactly how I felt when I learned Sun licensed JAVA to Microsoft.... These MBA's are just plain idiots IMHO.

    LoB
  • by Joe5678 ( 135227 ) on Thursday July 15, 2004 @10:48AM (#9707928)
    Although the article had just about zero details. My guess would be that Microsoft has simply convinced Yahoo and AOL (read: give big piles of cash to) to connect to the already existing Microsoft Live Communications Server.

    I *think* that Live Communications Server uses "Session Initiation Protocol" which I *think* is a public standard. I would guess that, theoretically any IM client could implement it and connect to Live Communications Server. Although that is purely speculation, there might be licensing fees associated with SIP or Microsoft might have "adjusted" the standard in their own special way.

    So why does Microsoft *want* Yahoo and AOL to integrate with Live Communications Server you ask? Probably because Microsoft's IM market share is so small that nobody really wants to use Live Communications Server. And really, there is not much money in basic instant messaging. However, at $700 for the server, and then an additional $25 per user on the server, there is a lot of money in Live Communications Server.

    We recently installed the trial version and it's crap. The only real thing it gives over basic instant messaging is the ability to archive all messages on the server, which is a necessity for some business. Although they don't give you any way to search through archived messages, it's just a SQL database full of records. Not exactly worth $25 per person.
    • I *think* that Live Communications Server uses "Session Initiation Protocol" which I *think* is a public standard[1]. I would guess that, theoretically any IM client could implement it and connect to Live Communications Server. Although that is purely speculation, there might be licensing fees associated with SIP or Microsoft might have "adjusted"[2] the standard in their own special way.

  • by DaveJay ( 133437 )
    Well, at least now we know exactly why Y! and AIM have fought to prevent other clients from using their services.

    Sigh. And a half.
  • Google (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 15, 2004 @11:11AM (#9708158)
    Google,

    Many of my fellow slashdotters and I are patiently awaiting your unannounced release of your new Google Instant Messenger. Please release it as soon as possible.

    Thanks,
    Anonymous Coward

  • Sounds like a fancy version of all the open source IM clients out there.

    Actually, it sounds more like the IM gateways on a Jabber server.

  • I do not know, I might live in the stone ages, but for me IRC is still the standard IM.
    What we would need is just an authenticated IRC, so you could have your screen name left alone.

    NO one implemented channels the way IRC did, and that is the most kick-ass feature of all IM messaging .

    Videoconference? flashy html messages? animated smileys? sending pictures right into my face ?
    I mean people ! seriously, send an URL, do not waste bandwidth , talk text ...

    ahm yes I use AIM too, and use less IRC, but it is
  • This has been done in effect, if you use a client that supports multiple networks...

    There are plenty of choices to do this, and while it may not be the same as integrating the actual networks at a low level, from the users point of view its close enough...

    Now, if the big 3 would stop changing the their protocols everytime the wind blows...
  • When will they learn? The essential power of IM is not just in the current text medium, but in its potential as a multimedia realtime browser. See iChat [apple.com] for a glimpse into the future.

    You see who is currently online (the realtime bit), then decide on how you want to interact: voice, video or text. Easy-peasy. Except 1. it's part of AIM and 2. AIM on PCs doesn't do vid or voice.

    So once again, it's the big boys trying to carve up their own piece of the internet. IT'S NOT REAL ESTATE, IT'S VIRTUAL EST

  • Sound to good to be true?

    No. It sounds too good to be true.
  • There are several enterprise solutions already nicely occupying that niche. Why on God's green and blue planet would ANYONE, even a PHB, even consider AOL IM or MSN as a possible corporate solution ? They have shaky network performance, lack any real security, zero digital cert capabilities, and the proven track record of not one, two, but THREE mismanaged, insecure, and venal companies, all willing to shoot them shelves in the leg for a few pennies as we've seen them do. What makes anyone think they wouldn

I have never seen anything fill up a vacuum so fast and still suck. -- Rob Pike, on X.

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