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 thoughts on “They saw the light

  1. Such an open standard has been available for a number of years, namely XMPP ( The most famous implementation of it (and the origin, I believe) is Jabber (, but there are others which use the same standard, prominently Google 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 (, which is so flexible together with all its free plugins that it really doesn’t leave much to be desired.

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