Microsoft, Yahoo Ink Instant- Message Pact

Essay by bora18tUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2006

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In the war to be the market leader in the instant messaging market over the Internet, American Online (AOL) has always been the leader and pioneer of it all. In the early 1990's, AOL was the first provider that gave its user a tool to communicate with each other over the Internet in real time. But it wasn't until November 1996, when a group of Israeli software developers launched a free instant messaging client called "I seek you" (ICQ) that the instant messaging boom online really took off.

In today's cyber world, instant-messaging clients provide more than just plain text communication. Most instant messaging clients allow users to perform voice and video conferencing, exchange document files and even play games in real time. But there has always been an obstacle with instant messaging clients -- users with different instant messaging clients could not communicate with each other. For instance, a user on ICQ will not be able to message a friend that is on MSN messenger. It has always been a question for instant messaging users like me as to why people with different clients cannot communicate with each other? People with different phone companies around the world can call each other, why don't Instant messaging clients have the capability to do so?

In part, the answer to my question for years has finally been answered. On October 12, 2005, Microsoft and Yahoo have partnered up and form a strategic alliance to create a cross platform that will allow users on Microsoft's MSN Messenger and Yahoo's Messenger to communicate with each other. The platform is expected to be in place by June 2006 (Linn, 2005, para.2). The alliance between the two key players in the instant messaging market not only provides convenience for their users, but also a step...