Feeds

AOL IM and ICQ to interoperate, at last

There - that wasn't hard, was it?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

If AOL Time Warner Inc has any intention of driving the instant messaging market towards open, email-style, interoperability, it is certainly taking the slow lane,

writes Kevin Murphy.

It emerged yesterday that the latest of several incremental moves towards interoperability will see AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, AOL's two IM properties, interoperate.

According to developer news site BetaNews.com, the latest beta of AIM 5.1 allows ICQ members screen names to be added to AIM buddy lists with the suffix "-ICQ". The site reported that users of the systems will not be able to send instant messages to each other until a new version of the ICQ client is also released.

AOL has previously maintained that there was no customer demand from either of its user bases to speak to each other, a position it appears to have reversed. Both services are free, and both use AOL's network of servers to relay messages. Technically, interoperability is purely an issue of client support, according to BetaNews.

Many in the industry think that it's only a matter of time before the major public IM networks become interoperable. Once, AOL's participation would have been required for such a drive, and rivals lobbied hard to have that made a condition of the AOL-Time Warner merger in 2000.

But rival consumer IM services from Yahoo! Inc and Microsoft Corp, and the emergence of IM as an enterprise-grade application, means AOL throwing open its network to third parties may not be a prerequisite to kick-start interoperability. Nevertheless, the media giant has been tiptoeing towards such a state of affairs for some time.

Under the terms of the US Federal Communications Commission's approval of the AOL Time Warner merger, AOL is not permitted to launch "advanced IM-based high-speed services (AIHS)" over Time Warner cable until it interoperates. AIHS are presumed to mean video conferencing.

But the company essentially decided against open IM following reluctant interoperability testing with IBM Corp's Lotus SameTime, announcing this summer that it would instead look towards commercial agreements along the lines of the one it struck with Apple Computer Inc. The Apple deal, however, just puts a Mac client on the AIM network.

Another small step towards interoperability came in April when PresenceWorks Inc, a small enterprise IM software vendor, announced that its server software was compatible with AIM, and that AOL had given its blessing to such a state of affairs. AOL is also known to be working on its own enterprise IM systems by adding security and logging to its existing technology.

© Computerwire.com. All rights reserved.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.