October 21, 2005 at 2:33 pm #20394Jeff HesterKeymaster
By John Delaney, Ovum
MSN and Yahoo’s mutual need to defend themselves in the long term against Google finally forced them to integrate their instant messaging networks
At some point in the future, logging on to either MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger will enable a user to engage in IM sessions with registered users of both communities. Beta testing will commence later this year, with full rollout scheduled for late spring 2006. MSN and Yahoo claim a combined registered user base in excess of 275 million worldwide.
The walls between the global ‘big four’ IM services — AOL, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo — have been among the hardest on the Internet. These service providers have been resolutely opposed to any interoperability between each other, for fear of eroding their base of registered users. Until now, if an MSN user wanted to communicate with a friend who was on Yahoo, then that MSN user would need to be registered on Yahoo as well. But not for much longer, it seems.
What has caused such a big change in the attitude of these two service providers? They say: ‘customer demand’, and it’s true that many end users would like a more open IM environment. In my opinion, however, the biggest external driver for this announcement must be MSN’s and Yahoo’s mutual need to defend themselves in the long term against Google. Both MSN and Yahoo have built their user bases around Internet communications services: instant messaging and email. Google is a relatively recent insurgent into messaging, but it is clearly determined to grow its presence there aggressively. MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger can defend themselves more formidably together than they could separately.
What does this mean for AOL? Might it draw some of their IM users away? Read more…
Source: ZDNet UK InsightOctober 21, 2005 at 5:26 pm #132128OreoMember
WOW! That’s quite a change…I wonder how well that will work though…Yahoo! is graphically MUCH different than MSN…and in many ways much more advanced.
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