October 12, 2005

Progress with Internet Communications

A couple of months ago I wrote a posting in this space called Missed Opportunities to Collaborate. I wrote it when Google Talk launched . In the post I expressed concern that quite a few companies block their employees from using Instant Messenger tools. Thereby missing out on the productivity gains offered by these applications.

Its about 46 days later and this morning while reading
The Jeff Pulver Blog I read that MSN and Yahoo entered into an agreement to have their Instant Messengers interoperate. Is this progress?

Jeff analyses the announcement and says:

"Six years into the IM Wars, while the reported linking of the MSN and Yahoo! IM Networks will undoubtedly generate a lot of “earned media”, I don’t believe the news that these two companies interconnected their two IM networks together really matters
all that much on its own. It is only to the extent that news of this collaboration helps drive all of the independent IM networks to one day soon empower their customers with the ability to seamlessly communicate with each other, using supported open IETF standards which in turn helps drive more people to use end-to-end IP communication services, that the news today really is a true watershed event and ends up becoming a significant milestone in the evolution of Internet Communications."

I agree with Jeff. The latter part of the quote about enabling universal Internet communications (in bold) is especially significant. I'm thinking it should be the message that MSN, Yahoo, AOL, Skype et al employ to convince companies blocking Instant Messenger to change their mindset and enable full business IM use. This is progress!

Update - click here to see the MSN/Yahoo announcement. By the way the interoperablity will happen in Q2 2006.

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