Feeds

AOL IM and ICQ to interoperate, at last

There - that wasn't hard, was it?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.