There are a ton of different instant messaging (IM) applications out there. And they are all free. However, while their features are remarkably similar there is not a pair of them that can communicate between them IOW you can communicate only using the same application. Isn’t this ridiculous? Didn’t they hear about standardization?
I have to run at least three different ones if I wish to keep contact with friends and customers. OK, there were/are some hybrid applications that allows you to use different protocols (such as Trillian) but I didn’t find it very friendly at the time I tested it (a while ago).
Back to the title – apparently even producers of IM software realized the nonsense of keeping walls between them and started working on cross communication – the pioneers are Microsoft and Yahoo. I certainly hope that others will follow and perhaps one day create an open IM standard.