Yahoo, MSN Play Nice on VoIM

16 Comments

They must be worried sick about Michael Robertson’s IMFederation plans and Google’s desire to make its Google Talk client work with other IM clients. Otherwise why else would Yahoo and MSN bury the hatchet and get their IM clients talking to each other. Andy Abramson broke the story. Other reports suggest that VoIP is part of the deal. Andy says it best when he writes…

Somehow with a move like that, and a potential AOL/MSN alliance it is starting to look like we will be having a three way dance between the Portal IM players, Skype and Google.

Update: They way I see it – for Microsoft this is a vital move especially from an enterprise perspective. The more interoperable they become, the more valuable their Live Communication Server becomes. Thanks to Dare for clarifying that. A full press release and the conference call later, it is all about the consumer.

Some salient points from the conference call.

1. The Mac clients will interoperate as well.
2. They totally announced the service waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy long before they can actually deliver it, which is sometime in second quarter of 2006. A panic inspired move, as Google’s federation efforts get more traction?
3. I still don’t find the business logic of it as of now. PC-to-PC calling is Skype’s game for now and this doesn’t change that. PC-to-PC VoIM minutes are nothing to write home about, especially on non-Skype networks.
4. I got a impression, that they did not have talks with AOL or Google or Skype to make the whole IM ecosystem come together.
5. Frankly, I am not as impressed with this big “news” event.

Like it or not, they still have to deal with AOL’s IM at some point in the future.

16 Comments

Om Malik

sorry david, i meant unless it works with AOL’s IM it doesn’t really mean anything as a US ocnusmer. today’s WSJ had some data and it shows that AIM is the majority player and we really don’t get the benefit of this alliance. i should have been more explicit

Aswath Rao

How about facilitating click-to-call and the related pay-per-call that was the talk of the town when eBay/Skype “partnership” was announced?

David

You are contradicting yourself. First off you say the interoperability is no big deal (meaning this changes nothing). And then you say that they HAVE to deal with AOL’s IM (presumably meaning this would change something). Explain me please.

Anurag (Anu) Nigam

I think the reason they did this isn’t for the desktop, but for mobile devices. Most users are using the cell phone more and they are frustrated with the IM clients that don’t work together. If they aren’t interoperable on the cell phone then users will keep using SMS or MMS. By working together, they hope to make IM the client of choice on the cell phone.

David Orban

If Terry Semel wants to be true to his recent declarations at Web 2.0, of Yahoo being more open than Google, then this move of opening just to Microsoft cannot be but a first step.

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