Feeds

AOL is full of it, say M$, Excite

Instant messaging security concerns are rubbish

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

It's not often that The Reg finds itself in agreement with Microsoft and Excite but then the latest Nazi on the block, AOL, provides a handy meeting of minds.

This, of course, is all about instant messaging and the interesting blocking/hacking around it. AOL's Instant Messenger is a pretty darn good bit of kit and since it got in there first with a good product, has taken a good chunk of the market. Needless to say, others produced their own messaging systems but were unable to cut into the market without it working with AOL's version.

So they asked AOL if it wouldn't mind telling them how it worked exactly. AOL stroked its chin, flipped them the birdie and a war was born. Caught up in the horrible irony of being faced with a protectionist, market-controlling company that it didn't run, Microsoft naturally decided to hack into AOL and borrow the relevant code for interoperability. It wasn't successful.

AOL was unimpressed so it filed complaints and for good measure (remember we all pretend to love competition in the Internet world) came up with a PR ploy to deflect anti-trust accusations. You see, AOL is only too delighted to hand over its successful, profitable control of the market, it's just that it's worried about security. It loves us all so much and is so concerned that it's buggered if it'll give the code to anyone else until they can conclusively prove security will be tight. And guess who gets to decide if this standard is met? But in the meantime, the wise, genteel AOL will just keep working on a common standard while the others muck about.

What is incredible is that AOL's competitors can't see the wisdom behind its approach. They have the audacity (in a submitted white paper) to suggest that AOL is talking out of its proverbial. The validity of security/privacy claims has been a prominent focus - mostly because they are a load of consumer-friendly nonsense. Oh, and the fact that AOL has consistently failed to offer a timetable for this IM standard cropped up too.

AOL, of course, couldn't give a damn. It has the market and it will still have most of it when it's forced to open up. In the meantime, it leans back chuckling while the others get more and more uptight. Come to think of it, it is pretty funny. Anyway, it'll all be sorted out sooner or later. Then M$ will illegally attach the new IM system to Windows and Excite will base a TV campaign on it. ®

Related stories

AOL instant message block is for 'security reasons'
FCC balks at AOL/Time Warner wedding
AOL makes arms-length messaging concession
Feds home in on AOL instant messaging

Related links

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IEFT)
The IETF's work on an IM standard
Federal Communications Committee (the relevant documents are probably here somewhere but good luck in finding references to the IM stuff)

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.