AIM Opens Up

posted on 03/06/06 at 02:43:25 pm by Joel Ross

Back in 2001, a friend pointed out Trillian, a great IM client that allows you to connect to IRC (does anyone still use that?), ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, and MSN at the same time. Since I had 4 IM clients loaded at the time, it made perfect sense for me to use it.

But, for those first six to twelve months that I used it, there was no way I would recommend it to anyone else, unless they were technical in nature. Why? You had to upgrade it just about every day - all because AOL kept changing up the protocol that AIM used to communicate. And they did it specifically because of tools like Trillian.

If you would have asked me then if I thought I would ever see this announcement, and I would have said "No." I'm not that excitable really, so just a simple no would be all you'd get. But, here we are, in 2006, in a time when openness is the new "thing" and AOL is opening up their IM network. This means now a company like Trillian can go through?a supported channel to integrate with AIM.

Once again, though, Google is forcing the revolution. They were the first company to offer a major chat client built on an open network (Jabber), and since then, IM walls have been coming down. MSN and Yahoo have promised integration, AIM is now an open network. What is the world coming to? In case you were wondering, Google forced along another revolution when they offered a 1GB email account for free - find me a web-based email client that offers you less than 5 MB. Well, no, don't. I don't need it, but the point is that it's a lot tougher now than it was two years ago.

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