Full Article Attached Opinion: AOL/Microsoft Real-Time Messaging Debate

Friday July 30th, 1999

As you all know, AOL, Netscape's parent company has been involved in a cat-and-mouse game with Microsoft over access to their Instant Messaging protocol. Yesterday, AOL announced a partnership with Apple to bring Instant Messenger to Mac users. Today, Microsoft and other Messaging hopefuls wrote an open letter to Steve Case of AOL asking him to stop blocking them from access to the Instant Messenger protocol.

I'm not going to go into all the details regarding this at the moment, but I'd like to throw out an opinion and see what mozillaZine readers think. Click Full Article below to read more, and give us your opinions in Talkback.

(Note: this doesn't really affect Mozilla, but since AOL is now Netscape's parent company, I thought it would be interesting to get the opinions from those who are involved in or interested in the Mozilla project.)

#1 Instant Messaging

by Quelish

Friday July 30th, 1999 9:09 AM

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I'v had the desire for a long while to be able to use ICQ to talk to folks using other IM programs. Now I find it very ironic that Microsoft is suddenly leading the push for an open standard for these apps.

AOL has invested lots of money in their AIM and ICQ programs. Let's suppose Microsoft pushes for and gets an open standard that everyone starts adhering to. How soon after that will they bundle their IM app with Windows and give it prime placement on the desktop? So much for all the money that AOL invested...

Considering the recent deal between AOL and Netscape, and also considering that AOL is maneuvering to use Mozilla in future versions instead of IE, I wouldn't put it past Microsoft to try and get back at AOL any way they can. After all, they'll be losing a large chunk of the browser market -- think of all those free AOL coasters we get in the mail and that they'd be loaded with Mozilla and not IE.

Sadly, an open standard is a double edged sword that I'm afraid Microsoft could use to their advantage. After all, if every app can talk to each other than who's going to take the time to download AIM or ICQ when the MSN messanger comes on their desktop?