A new instant message client

I've recently discovered a new instant message client and I really like it. It gives you access to all the major instant message networks (yes, including AOL) and the interface isn't cumbersome. The problem is, I don't want to share it with you.

I have been using AIM since the majority of my friends use it, but AOL doesn't like to play nice and they attempt to block the other instant message clients out there that try to be compatible. MSN Messenger tried to work with AIM but has now given up, Jabber and Odigo still try to stay on the AIM network but have had limited success.

The reason I don't want to share this new client with you is I don't want it to become popular enough to warrant the watchful eye of AOL-- once that happens, the AIM compatibility with this client will be broken and will probably remain that way as long as AOL has anything to say about it.

So why do we put up with AOL, MSN, ICQ and Yahoo? They're all really designed as closed, proprietary chat networks. Imagine if email were the same way-- a Hotmail user could only email other Hotmail users. Yahoo and AOL users could only email other Yahoo and AOL users. That would never work! I think the whole instant message system needs to become more distributed and more open-- based on an open protocol. I think the Jabber project is taking steps toward this, but will it ever catch on?

OK, fine -- here's the URL for it.

See also: imunified.org, jabber.org, jabber.com

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This article was published on June 14, 2001 2:56 PM.

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