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AOL chief gets open letter on messaging war

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The biggest guns from the Net industry have sent an open letter to AOL calling for a truce in the battle over Instant Messaging (IM). The "Dear Steve" letter was posted yesterday and calls for the adoption of an industry standard on IM as soon as possible. Microsoft, Excite, Yahoo! and the others wouldn't want their gesture described as a "white flag of surrender" but they are keen to call a halt to the verbal violence of the last week. They want all the parties concerned to get together for a pow-wow and take a few tokes of a peace pipe before settling on an amicable way forward. In the interim, they want AOL to suspend blocking users of non-AOL clients from AOL's IM and provide a means for these clients to talk to ICQ as well. "We believe that this is the most practical and fair process for developing a standard that will allow millions of instant messaging users the ability to communicate seamlessly with each other while at the same time providing some needed solutions to customers today," the letter said. AOL's Steve Case has until the end of next week to reply. ®

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