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They saw the light

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.

5 replies on “They saw the light”

Such an open standard has been available for a number of years, namely XMPP (http://www.xmpp.org/). The most famous implementation of it (and the origin, I believe) is Jabber (http://www.jabber.org), but there are others which use the same standard, prominently Google Talk (http://www.google.com/talk/).

I’m sure, as usual, there are loads of reasons why Microsoft doesn’t consider that standard sufficient and Google does. I don’t quite believe we’ll see an end to IM incompatibilities anytime soon… meanwhile I’m using Miranda (http://www.miranda-im.org), which is so flexible together with all its free plugins that it really doesn’t leave much to be desired.

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