Feeds

France backs Jabber IM for 3G parlez-vous

Jeux sans frontiers

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Instant Messaging wars could be over sooner than you think, thanks to an inspired investment by the French.

The open source instant messenger project Jabber has been blessed with a major investment from a leading telco, namely France Telecom, which has agreed to fund development to the tune of $7m. France Telecom will take a 23 per cent stake in the commercial Jabber company, Webb Interactive Services, which employs many (but not all ) of the far-flung Jabber developers. Jabber.com shouldn't be confused with Jabber.org, which is where the community hangs out.

Jabber is an XML-based alternative to ICQ, AIM and fellow travellers, but without much of the dogmatic potential for disaster that seems to beset XML initiatives. That's not to besmirch XML, rather than to point out that it uses XML sensibly and sparingly, rather than the write-a-C-compiler-in-COBOL implementations we're starting to see elsewhere.

But all that's beside the point.

Jabber clients - which can be found on Windows, Mac, Linux and many other platforms - may be lacking in many of the features we expect from today's bloated instant messaging clients (voice calls, file transfer, etc) but it has a feature the others don't really have.

Jabber's built around the idea of presence: finding friends or like-minded people who may be in your virtual vicinity. Conventional PCs don't connect quite like this - if you're geeky enough you can reverse-directory their IP addresses - but of course mobile phones do. They can link the virtual to the physical, as each client device knows exactly where it is.

So France Telecom has stumbled upon a backbone for handheld peer-to-peer communications that makes SMS look positively Neanderthal.

As wise men have argued, punters are far more willing to spend money on point-to-point communications than on buying crappy, pre-packaged, warmed-over 'content', so France Telecom may have stolen a march on the rest of the slumbering cellular networks, and done so with typical Gallic flare. ®

Related Stories

Talking Back To Happiness - how voice calls can save 3G

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive?
Microsoft's long history of broken Windows sync
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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 and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.