After what seems like an eternity, the IM world is gradually inching towards interoperability. Yahoo! & Microsoft have reached a deal that will allow their instant messaging programs to talk to each other. This is expected to be in place by June 2006.
It's time for AIM & Google Talk to join the gang. Although Google is already using open standards that would allow compatible messengers to communicate with it, I'm not sure Yahoo! and Microsoft would be interested in taking it into their fold. AOL is already being sold in bits-&-pieces and Microsoft and Google are in talks with it for a stake. How things shape up remains to be seen and could well herald a new direction for instant messaging. One mustn't forget how ferociously AIM had protected its turf in the past. It's the original foe of interoperability! AOL then proceeded to buy the world's first and easily the best instant messenger of its time (ICQ)...and thoroughly ruin it. Even looking at the empty contact list in ICQ was a pleasure!