I rarely use Instant Messaging (IM), but maybe I would use it more if there weren’t so many cross-platform obstacles. Why can’t we all just talk to each other?
USA Today: Sometime before mid-2006, MSN and Yahoo messenger users will for the first time be able to communicate with each other. Now, Yahoo users can communicate only with Yahoo users. Ditto with MSN users. The union will result in the world’s biggest instant-messaging community.
Still, the partners won’t easily supplant America Online’s pioneering IM service as the most popular among U.S. consumers.
Microsoft and Yahoo aim to stake out turf as a superior text, video and voice messaging service. “Video and voice is becoming a more used component for real-time communication,” says Irving, corporate vice president at Microsoft MSN.
Analysts say MSN and Yahoo will need to mesh well quickly to stave off rising competition from Google and eBay. Google launched Google Talk, its free instant-messaging service, and eBay bought Skype, an IM-like service that specializes in streamlined voice communication.
Most folks mainly use IM to send text messages. Microsoft and Yahoo are betting they can win the global race to broaden instant messaging to routinely include video and voice.